CANNES - In a new video released Wednesday, James O'Keef's Project Veritas captures actors Ed Begley Jr, Mariel Hemingway and others conversing about a plan to take $9M from Mid Eastern oil producers to make an anti-fracking film.
Project Veritas founder and president James O'Keefe debuted the latest investigation at a "premiere" in Cannes, France Wednesday.
In the video from a meeting with Ed Begley Jr., Mariel Hemingway and Josh Tickell, a Project Veritas investigator disguised as "Muhammed" offered $9 million for an anti-fracking film. "Muhammad" clearly states: "If Washington DC continues fracking, America will be energy efficient, and then they won't need my oil anymore."
In the same conversation, Begley and Hemingway accept the funding and agree to hide the source of funds for the anti-fracking movie. Hemingway agrees that those who will know the source of the funding are "only at this table."
Ed Begley Jr. is an outspoken environmental activist and current Governor on the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (the organization that brings us the OSCARS every year.
Mariel Hemingway is a Golden Globe- and Oscar-nominated actress.
Josh Tickell is a Sundance Film Festival Winner and the director of environmental message movies "Fuel", "The Big Fix" and "PUMP".
The meeting came about after a series of discussions with Josh and Rebecca Tickell. A Project Veritas journalist posed as an ad executive seeking to broker a deal for his client ("Muhammed") to fund an American-made anti-fracking film.
In a phone call to Tickell, the ad executive states: "My client's interest is to end American energy independence; your interest is to end fracking. And you guys understand that?"
Tickell's response: "Correct. Yes, super clear."
Tickell makes it clear on the tape that revealing the source of funding for an activist film can undermine its credibility. Tickell notes that the movie "Promised Land" undermined its own message because it was labeled as being funded by Image Nation Abu Dhabi. His advice: "So rather than putting that [the source of funding] up front, don't mention that."
In a follow-up call with Josh and Rebecca Tickell, Rebecca Tickell assures our investigator: "We would never tell about where the funding is coming from. That would be really awkward for us."
Josh Tickell: "We're confident that we can keep this zip locked, you know tight, air-tight forever. If we don't protect who is kind of funding this thing, if we have to disclose that or that becomes a necessary part of it, the whole enterprise will not work."
Project Veritas founder and president James O'Keefe stated Wednesday:
"This latest investigation shows the dark side of Hollywood's environmental movement. Hollywood is willing to take and conceal money from Middle Eastern oil interests in order to advance their cause of destroying American energy independence."
The raw video can be found at http://Youtube.com/VeritasVisuals