Tag Archives: Iranium movie

Heritage Minister James Moore letter to Mark Vandermaas re Canadian free speech

Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages James MooreAfter the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore stepped in to ensure intimidation from the Iranian embassy would not prevent the showing of the movie Iranium by the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa, I called his office and wrote to thank him for his staunch defence of Canadian free speech which sent chills down the spine of every right-thinking Canadian who is concerned about the preservation of that most vital component to democracy and evolution of human progress.   

If you haven’t seen this before, sit back and enjoy:    

  • CBC, Jan 19/11: Show will go on [9:12] (tough-talking Heritage Minister James Moore says foreign gov’ts don’t dictate which movies will be shown in Canada) YouTube [LINK]

The (very) Honourable James Moore writes back…   


Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Ottawa, Canada  K1A 0M5

March 02, 2011  

Mr. Mark Vandermaas

Dear Mr. Vandermaas:    

Thank you for writing to me about the screening of the documentary film entitled Iranium at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.    

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VoC thank you note to Iranian embassy re Iranium movie sell-out

Iranium movie[Fred] Litwin said he’s almost grateful for the Iranian embassy’s intervention because it generated buzz for Iranium the film wouldn’t have otherwise received. “I think I should give them some fine Israeli wine as a gift, Litwin quipped.

  • Sunmedia/The Sault Star, Feb 07/11: Delayed screening takes place in Ottawa
  • Thanks to the interference of the Iranian Embassy and the bureaucrats at Library and Archives Canada who caved in to Iranian pressure to cancel the film showing, which was then followed by a strong defence of Litwin’s right to show the film and a dressing down for the Iranians by Heritage Minister James Moore, the screening of the anti-Iran movie Iranium was sold out last night.  Moore himself, as promised, attended the screening to make sure his message was not lost on the Iranians.

    Demand for tickets was so high, in fact, that Fred Litwin, founder of the Free Thinking Film Society, posted a notice on the organization’s website announcing that people could line up on standby for tickets reserved for people who didn’t show up.

    Some fine Israeli wine for the Iranian embassy?

    Israeli wine, photo from KosherWine.comSunmedia reporter Jessica Murphy’s story included Litwin’s tongue-in-cheek expression of gratitude to the Iranians for helping promote Iranium: “I think I should give them some fine Israeli wine as a gift, ” a comment he made a few weeks ago to me in his response to my email suggesting that he send the Iranian embassy a thank you card for all their help.

    Let’s say thanks to the nice folks at the Iranian embassy!

    Anyone who would like to send the Iranian Embassy a bottle of Israel’s finest can source it at one of these links:

    …and deliver it here:

    Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    245 Metcalfe St.
    Ottawa, ON  K2P 2K2

    OR, you can send a thank you note via email here (be polite!) to those helpful embassy folks here.

    I took the inexpensive route via this email:

    SUBJECT: Thank you for your assistance

    Dear Iranian Embassy:
    Salam. I would like to thank you very much for helping ensure that the screening of Iranium was sold out last evening.
    Those who seek to stifle free speech in my country will, as you have now seen, only serve to embarrass themselves and help more people understand the dangers posed by Islamic extremists. I am very grateful to you for helping Mr. Litwin aid the rest of us in understanding that danger.
    I will be posting shortly an article at VoiceofCanada.ca giving readers source information for Israeli wine along with the address of the Iranian embassy in case someone wishes to help acquaint you with that pleasure. You have certainly earned it.
    Thank you again!
    Yours Truly,
    Mark Vandermaas, Editor
    Fred Litwin, Free Thinking Films
    James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages
    VoC Comment

    Free Thinking Film SocietyCongratulations to Fred Litwin and all his sponsors and volunteers at the Free Thinking Film Society. Thank you Minister James Moore for making it happen and for attending to show support.  Last night was a good night for free speech, and you should all be very proud that the Iranium show was such a success.

    The similarities of the terrific, wholly unintended results of the Iranian intimidation with those arising from the intimidation of Christie Blatchford’s appearance at the University of Waterloo simply warms the heart. Not only did the Blatchford incident result in a near-sellout it spurred sales across Canada to the point that Doubleday had to order a reprint of Helpless:

    You’d think the enemies of free speech would learn from their mistakes, wouldn’t you? Well, one thing I’ve learned over the past five years – you can almost always count on people driven by hate, greed or blind ignorance to do the wrong thing. This of course, creates wonderful opportunities for the rest of us to get our own message out as evidenced by the line up for Iranium last evening. 

    P.S. Speaking about free speech, it looks like the British Prime Minister David Cameron is getting the message that ordinary British citizens aren’t going to sit still while the government enables Muslim extremists and silences opposition to their hateful ideology:



    Mark Vandermaas, Editor

    Free Thinking Film Society: Iranium WILL be shown Feb 6th thanks to Heritage Minister James Moore

    UPDATE: VoC thank you note to Iranian embassy re Iranium movie sell-out

    UPDATED — Fred Litwin, founder of the Free Thinking Film Society, has sent out a letter explaining his version of the events that led to the recent cancellation of the Society’s screening of the film ‘Iranium’:

    Free Thinking Film Society

    Iranium will be shown in Ottawa on February 6th!

    January 21, 2011

    Dear Free Thinking Film Society Supporter:

    I want to express my extreme disappointment that Iranium was not shown in Ottawa this week. We are committed to ensuring this film is shown in the capital of Canada – and that our cultural policies are not dictated by the Khomeinist thugs of Iran.

    So, I am happy to announce that Iranium will now be shown on Sunday, February 6th at 7:00 PM at the Library and Archives Canada. Clare Lopez will also be flying in to talk at the event. Tickets are $15.00 (Students/Seniors – $8.00) and will be available, in advance, at the following locations:

    Compact Music, 785 1/2 Bank Street
    Compact Music, 190 Bank Street
    Ottawa Folklore Centre, 1111 Bank Street
    Ottawa Festivals, 47 William Street

    Tickets will also be available at the door, but to ensure you get a seat, please buy your ticket in advance.

    What really happened this week

    On Monday, January 17th at 2 PM, I was informed by staff of the Library & Archives Canada (LAC) that they had received ‘complaints’ about Iranium and had decided to cancel the film. They offered to find an alternate venue.

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    Suspicious package, threats shut down screening of Iranium movie after Iranian embassy complains

    UPDATE: VoiceofCanada, Jan 21/11: Free Thinking Film Society: Iranium WILL be shown Feb 6th thanks to Heritage Minister James Moore

    Iranium movieUPDATED — From the Ottawa Sun, tonight, 8:37pm, h/t to Vlad Tepes and Blazing Cat Fur…

    OTTAWA – A suspicious package and a rash of phone calls threatening protests shut down the planned screening of an anti-Iran documentary at Library and Archives Canada Tuesday night.

    Iran’s embassy in Ottawa had tried to censor the film, Iranium, by complaining to the national library, which cancelled it until Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore stepped in.

    But after library officials fielded calls they say threatened protests, they reversed course again and re-cancelled the event just hours before it was due to start.

    They called in police and shut down the building after somebody hand-delivered suspicious letters, forcing out researchers working in the archives.


    “It’s like the Iranians have set something in motion and they’re able to shut down a film in the capital of Canada,” said Fred Litwin. “They obviously thought they could push around some people and they were right.” […]

    The ‘Vlad Tepes’ blog is all over this story, apparently from a ringside seat, and has some photos, including one of the notice sign posted announcing the closing of the building:

    About ‘Iranium’ – the movie

    Free Thinking Films logoFrom FreeThinkingFilmFest.ca… 

    January 18, 2011
    Library and Archives Canada

    7:00 PM

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