Councillor welcomes film screening

A Mid-Formartine Councillor has welcomed the BBC screening of documentary ‘You’ve Been Trumped’, which was shown in spite of complaints from Trump International.

The film, by director Anthony Baxter, was shown at 10pm on Sunday, and catalogues the ongoing saga surrounding Trump International’s fraught relationship with remaining residents on the Menie Estate.

The film has previously been shown locally, and in independent cinemas, however the screening last week was the first effective release to a mass audience, with hundreds of thousands tuning in to watch.

Trump International opposed the screening of the film, arguing that the BBC had failed to allow the organisation a right of reply and accusing the state broadcaster of bias.

Cllr Paul Johnston, who previously campaigned against the development at Menie, told the Times that bringing the film to wider audience was a positive development.

He said: “The film, which chronicles the events over a year of local residents around Menie near Balmedie in the battle with Donald Trump and Trump International, has won ten international awards, and received accolades from world renowned US documentary maker Michael Moore.

“This was despite of the decision not even to be selected for the Edinburgh Film Festival, as it dealt with issues surrounding the original planning application, including the controversial intervention of the First Minister and local MSP Alex Salmond.

“The film has been shown around the world at Documentary film festivals and in small independent theatres.” he added. “While it has been seen by thousands at full houses, it will never have received the reach of a major film distribution.

“The BBC showing had an estimated audience of 1.1 million viewers, some 40% greater than similar audiences for documentaries on BBC2 as I understand it.”

The Menie development remains at the centre of a bitter media battle between Trump International and backers of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, on the grounds that the development would spoil views from the Menie Golf Course.

Mr Trump has stated that no further development will occur at the site should the renewables project go ahead, putting plans for a hotel and new homes on hold.