Julian Assange named as juror in London's Raindance Film Festival

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 September, 2013, 4:44am

Fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been named as a juror in London's Raindance Film Festival, though he will have to watch the entries more than 1.5 kilometres from the venue, on a DVD player in his sanctuary in the Ecuadorean embassy.

Festival organisers said Assange, 42, had been chosen because of his impact on the way information was received and transmitted.

"He is a subtle political thinker, a radical democrat, and an audacious dissident of the digital age," festival director Elliot Grove said.

Assange came to global prominence in 2010 when his website WikiLeaks released secret footage, military files and diplomatic cables about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, prompting a furious response from the United States.

He fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London last June to avoid extradition to Sweden, which wants to question him about allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he denies.

He says he does not want to answer the allegations in person because he believes Sweden would hand him over to the US authorities, who would try him for helping facilitate the massive information leak.

The Raindance Film Festival will host 100 feature films and more than 150 short films from around 50 countries from September 25 to October 6.

Other Raindance judges include British actor Sean Brosnan, the son of the James Bond star Pierce Brosnan.