​​​​​​​Influence Premiere Post Screening Q&A


A first for South Africa, the highly anticipated feature documentary Influence will premiere at Encounters Documentary Film Festival on 20 August. In an exclusive post-screening webinar, Influence directors Richard Poplak and Diana Neille will be in conversation with Red Notice author Bill Browder as they dig into the ethical and moral issues exposed in the documentary.

  • Bill Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, which was the investment adviser to the largest foreign investment fund in Russia until 2005, when Bill was denied entry to the country and declared a “threat to national security” as a result of his battle against corporate corruption. Following his expulsion, the Russian authorities raided his offices, seized Hermitage Fund’s investment companies and used them to steal $230-million of taxes that the companies had previously paid. When Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, investigated the crime, he was arrested by the same officers he implicated, tortured for 358 days, and killed in custody at the age of 37 in November 2009. Since then, Browder has spent years fighting for justice for Mr Magnitsky. The Russian government exonerated and even promoted some of the officials involved, so Browder took the case to America, where his campaigning led to the US Congress adopting the ‘Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act’ in 2012, which imposed visa sanctions and asset freezes on those involved in the detention, ill-treatment and death of Sergei Magnitsky (as well as in other human rights abuses). This law was the first time the US sanctioned Russia in 35 years and became the model for all subsequent US sanctions against Russia. Browder is currently working to have similar legislation passed in Magnitsky’s name across the European Union. Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta and Salim Essa were all sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act in October 2019.

  • Richard Poplak is an award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker. He has become one of the most widely read and controversial political journalists in South Africa, editing at large for the Daily Maverick. Poplak has reported from over 25 developing countries, for the Financial TimesAtlantic MonthlyThe Guardian, among others. He was recently part of a team that won the prestigious Global Shining Light award for investigative journalism.

  • Diana Neille is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker from Johannesburg,  South Africa. A 2011 alumna of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Neille has subsequently co-founded two media startups with the intention of fostering long-form investigative storytelling and documentary filmmaking at a time when journalism is facing unprecedented challenges globally.

  • Bill Browder

    Webinar Host

  • Richard Poplak

    Webinar Guest

  • Diana Neille

    Webinar Guest

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    Caveat Legal

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