Monday, June 25, 2012

letter to Rachel Perkins

Rachel Perkins
Blackfella Films
10 Cecil Street
NSW 2021

26th June 2012

Dear Rachel

You are a member of the Screen Australia Board. The Board voted to ban me from having any further dealings with Screen Australia. The Board did not require of Ruth Harley that she provide evidence in support of this ban. I maintain that there is no evidence; that Ruth has abused the power vested in her by the Board in a ham-fisted attempt to silence a critic and cover up a cockup that occurred within Screen Australia in 2010 and which would have been appropriately dealt with at the time if Screen Australia had a functioning complaints process. If Ruth has proof that I have placed members of Screen Australia staff at risk of any kind, please ask her to make it public.

I have asked the Chair of the Board, Glen Boreham, the same questions I am asking you here. Many times. Glen has ignored my requests. I am now asking you to do so in your capacity as a board member and as a fellow filmmaker who must, I am sure, be aware of the ramifications for a filmmaker of being banned by Screen Australia.

The question for Ruth is a simple one:

“Please provide both the Screen Australia Board and James Ricketson with the dates on which he wrote either letters or emails that you believe contain evidence that he has harassed, intimidated and placed at risk members of Screen Australia staff?”

This will take less than five minutes of your time, Rachel, and I do not think it would be unreasonable to expect of Ruth that she provide the evidence within 24 hours. If Ruth can provide no evidence the ban on me should be lifted immediately and I should receive from both Ruth Harley and the Screen Australia Board a public apology.

Ruth’s ban of me, with the blessing of the Board, is the culmination of a dispute that began 18 months ago and which you have been aware of since Feb 2011 when I first wrote to you and Robert Connolly in your capacities as Board Members. To paraphrase my email of Feb 2011:

“Please ask Fiona Cameron to release the correspondence of mine she refers to in her letter to me dated 12th Nov 2010 and ask Ross Mathews if he and Claire Jager viewed the ‘promo’ that accompanied my first CHANTIS WORLD application in mid 2010 – the point at which this dispute really begins.”

I do appreciate, Rachel, that you are in the middle of a production now but 18 months is a long time for me to wait to get simple answers to simple questions.

best wishes

James Ricketson

1 comment:

  1. A Lawyer's ObservationJune 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    I have watched this drama unfold in slow motion this past couple of months and have been struck, as a lawyer, by the fact that neither Ruth Harley nor Fiona Cameron have commenced legal action against Ricketson for defamation. Despite Harley’s veiled threat it also seems that Screen Australia’s legal department has not even sent Ricketson a letter demanding that he cease making defamatory comments about Harley and Cameron. Why, I wonder? Why do they allow, day after day, this assault on their character, their integrity, without doing all that is within their power (and to which they are legally entitled) to silence Ricketson? The only conclusion I have been able to come up with is that the correspondence to which Harley and Cameron refer does not in fact exist and that Ricketson is telling the truth. It follows that the Screen Australia Board, backing Harley and Cameron and not Ricketson, are complicit in defaming Ricketson and that Simon Crean and the Ombudsman seem to be unconcerned that this should be occurring. What a sorry state of affairs.I will be very disappointed if Rachel Perkins does not respond to Ricketson's request.