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A Utah filmmaker's documentary which defends a best-selling author's humanitarian efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan, while casting doubt on a "60 Minutes" segment that accused the author of fraud will have its U.S. premiere Tuesday in Salt Lake City.
The documentary "3,000 Cups of Tea" will screen Tuesday, at 7 and 9 p.m., at the City Library auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City. The screening, presented by the Utah Film Center, is free to the public. Director Jennifer Jordan narrates the film, which is subtitled "Investigating the Rise and Ruin of Greg Mortenson."
Mortenson founded the Central Asia Institute, a nonprofit organization that has established schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He told of his work in the inspirational best-selling memoir "Three Cups of Tea."
His work was called into question with a 2011 report on CBS' investigative news show "60 Minutes." The report by Steve Kroft, relying heavily on reporting by author Jon Krakauer, accused Mortenson of defrauding donors, using the institute's money for personal gain and fabricating some of the inspirational anecdotes in his book.
In the documentary, Jordan interviews supporters of Mortenson who refute the claims of the "60 Minutes" piece. Some of these backers accuse CBS of shoddy journalism and suggest Krakauer was jealous of Mortenson's success. Jordan also examines the damage the report did to the institute's reputation and its work in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Jordan and her husband, co-producer and cinematographer Jeff Rhoads, will take part in a Q&A after the 7 p.m. screening.