The official premiere of The President’s Pressmen

By J L Samboma

The re-editing of my video documentary on press freedom and human rights abuses in Sierra Leone, “The President’s Pressmen,” is now completed and has been posted on youtube.  The original production, which was released at the tail end of 2009, was well-received.  Hopefully, this will be as well.

One obvious question is, Why the re-edit?  The reasons were manifold and compelling.  First, my knowledge of film editing a few years back was rudimentary.  Although I am light years away from being a top-notch editor, I know a bit more now than I did then, and I wanted to use that knowledge to smooth out some of the rough edges in the original.

Also, the abuses against journalists by the political establishment in Sierra Leone have, if anything, increased.  In a word, I wanted to update the information contained in the film, especially to highlight the murder of Ibrahim Foday, a reporter who was stabbed while covering a land dispute case.

As a consequence, the present film is almost twice as long - at 45 minutes -  as the original version, which was just 25 minutes.

And I wanted to sell the DVD in order to raise funds for my next production, on the imperialist assault on Libya.  And if I expected people to spend their hard-earned on something, then I owed them a product that was done to the best of my current ability. 

Worth the wait

With the production now finished, I can say unreservedly that the present product is the best that I can produce – given my present technical competency, the available resources and the raw material I have had to work with.  Uploading it on youtube has resulted in the loss of picture resolution, but that can be easily remedied by getting the DVD, where the images are naturally sharper and lend to a better viewing experience.

The film, it goes without saying, was self-financed.  This may have impacted on production values, but not very much.  My next production, on the imperialist asault on Libya - The Hijacking of Libya - has been delayed due to the re-edit of “The President’s Pressmen.” Funds raised from the latter will go towards that project.

If you would also like to support our next documentary film project, which is now in post-production, then you could remit the sum of £10.00, or more, as indicated on the paypal payment options on the right. Postage and packing are covered in the price. Those remitting £15.00 or more will receive a signed copy of "The Hijacking of Libya" free upon release.  If you want more than one copy of the DVD, please remit £10.00 per copy.  Many thanks for the support.

And, last but not least, apologies to all those who placed orders for the DVD of “The President’s Pressmen” and have not yet received it.  I had started despatching the old version before deciding to re-edit, so a few people did get a copy.  That is the reason for the delay. 

The DVD cover design (by "ND" - Newt Design) will be going to the printers on Tuesday and shipping of the product will commence soon after.  Hopefully, you will agree with me upon receiving it, that the wait was worthwhile.  Thank you for your patience.