The producer of a film about Star Trek fans who have learned to speak Klingon and who come together in annual conventions to converse in their second language has come to their defense. In an interview with the sci-fi publication Fortean Times, Alexandre Phillipe, who shot his film Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water at a 2003 qep'a' (conference), rebutted those who accuse the Klingon speakers of wasting their time. "Are sports fans wasting their talents watching football on TV? I don't think so," he said. "If it's meaningful to them to learn Klingon -- because they have a good time, because it's a great intellectual exercise, or because that's how they want to make friends -- who are we to say they're wasting their time?" Besides, Phillipe observed, "The Klingon language is indeed a fascinating cultural and linguistic phenomenon. It's the first constructed language based on popular culture that has thrived to the point of being spoken in 55 countries around the world. So to me the question isn't: 'why spend any time learning Klingon when there are so many other languages around?' but 'why not learn Klingon?'"