May 17th, 2009

Winnipeg police confiscate filmmaker's camera 0

By Carlos Miller


A Canadian filmmaker working on a documentary had his camera seized by four police officers Wednesday.

John Paskievich, whose award-winning documentaries focus on the struggles of the working-class and immigrant communities, was filming a backhoe operator digging access to a natural gas line in Winnipeg.

The work was being done in preparation for the city to shut off the supply to 89 Gertie St., a house owned by his latest film subject, animator Ed Ackerman.

The dilapidated house is to be razed by the city.

Police ordered him to stop filming because he was making the backhoe operator “uneasy”, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Paskievich was able to pick up his camera later on that day at the police station and the footage was not deleted but he was not given a valid legal reason why his camera was confiscated.

“I’ve run into this before in places like the Soviet Union, in Eastern Europe, but not here in Canada. This is the first time [in this country], after being in the business of photography and documentary film for about 30 years,” he said.


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