Monday, July 9, 2012

letter to Rachel Perkins 10th July 20012

Rachel Perkins
Blackfella Films
10 Cecil Street
NSW 2021                                                                                                10th July 2012

Dear Rachel

My letters of 26th June and 4th July are, it seems, subject to Ruth Harley’s edict that no correspondence will be entered into with me about the correspondence Ruth claims I have written but which I have not! What a bizarre, Kafkaesque state of affairs! Is Screen Australia no longer even interested in going through the motions of appearing transparent and accountable?

Forgotten in this 18 month long  dispute is the fact that it is about a self-funded documentary I have been working on for 16 years. CHANTI’S WORLD has attracted the interest of a broadcaster and a pre-sale offer has been made that makes me eligible to apply to Screen Australia for post production funds. I cannot make an application, however, since Ruth Harley has made it clear that no correspondence from me will be read. I cannot even speak with anyone at Screen Australia on the telephone about CHANTI’S WORLD! How can you and the Board countenance this state of affairs, Rachel? Is Screen Australia in the business of assisting all filmmakers whose projects are eligible for funding in accordance with SA guidelines? Or is it OK with the Board that senior management can decide, on trumped up charges, not to provide assistance to critics or others who, for whatever reason, they do not like? My banning, a form of creative knee-capping, is behaviour that one would expect a mafia-like organization; not from a federally funded organization such as Screen Australia.

Ruth’s fatwa, is unbelievably petty and stupid – especially since based on a lie. And you know it is a lie. And Glen Boreham knows it is a lie. And so would the Ombudsman and the office of Mr Crean if either bothered to ask Ruth to produce my supposedly intimidating correspondence. It seems that it is now too late for anyone to make this request of Ruth since the revelation that it does not exist would highlight the fact that no-one has requested to see it to date – thus raising awkward questions about the competence of those who should have demanded to see the correspondence two months ago or, in the case of Fiona Cameron’s reference to non-existent correspondence, 18 months ago. It should not be necessary for a filmmaker to have to resort to the Supreme Court in order to get Screen Australia to release the correspondence in the process of defending a defamation suit!

If you believe, Rachel,  that I have been unjustly banned by Screen Australia (and you have had ample time now to figure out whether or not this is so) the honourable thing to do would be to offer your resignation if the Board refuses to rescind its decision to ban me. Glen Boreham will not accept your resignation as he knows (and has done for a long time) that there is no substance to Ruth Harley’s allegations of harassment, intimidation and placing her staff at risk.

In the absence of a written apology from the Board and Ruth Harley and a lifting of the ban on me I will lodge my Statement of Claim with the Supreme Court of NSW (Common Law, Defamation List) early next week.

best wishes

James Ricketson

1 comment:

  1. Purleeeze! WTF is going on here! A filmmaker has to take out an injuntion in the Supreme Court to force Ruth Harley to reveal her reason for banning a filmmaker from talking with her staff! Ths is a joke, right? One can only hope that the new minister, Brandis, gets rid of the lot of them - Harley, Cameron and the entire Board.