Thursday, November 22, 2012

letter # 3 for Claudia Karvan & Richard Keddie

Claudia Karvan and Richard Keddie
Screen Australia Board
level 4, 150 William St
Woolloomooloo 2011

23rd Nov 2012 

Dear Claudia and Richard

Following on from my letters of 13th and 19th Nov.

I am sorry to be writing to you both personally, in your roles as new Board members, but letters to Glen Boreham, letters to the Board, letters to Rachel Perkins have yielded no answers. Receipt of them has not even been acknowledged. I had hoped, in writing to two board members not involved in my May 10th banning, that, as fellow filmmakers who understand the professional ramifications of such a ban,  you would only agree to my being banned if the ban was based on facts and not merely on allegations.

It may be, of course, that neither of you voted to extend the ban on me until May 2014; that you argued vigorously on 9th Nov. against such a ban being imposed. It may be that you were outvoted. Or, if you did vote to have my ban extended to two years, it may be that you were provided with what you considered to be cogent evidence that I have, in fact, placed members of Screen Australia’s staff at risk; that I have, this past six months, being playing fast and loose with the truth in insisting in a public forum (my blog) that I have not. If this be the case, if you believe me to be guilty as charged, I deserve to be banned and I deserve to be publicly humiliated as a liar. However, I also deserve (and should be entitled) to be presented with evidence of my crimes and be given an opportunity to present a defense.  Or do you both believe that a filmmaker accused of what sounds like a serious offense (even if ‘at risk’ is so vague as to mean pretty much whatever you want it to mean) has no right to be appraised of the evidence in support of the charges made and no right to defend him or herself?

What would you do, Claudia and Richard, if our roles were reversed? If your reputation took a major hit on the basis of an allegation made about some aspect of your behaviour that you knew to be false? You may well employ different tactics to the ones I have adopted but I feel sure you would do everything within your power to have your reputation restored.

Two days ago I sat in on a court ordered mediation - about which I wrote on my blog yesterday:

My experience, as an impartial observer, witnessing someone else’s mediation has convinced me of the efficacy of this approach to dispute resolution. I was probably wrong, as I have suggested previously, in presuming that mediation need not take longer than an hour. Having seen two adversaries shift from unyielding positions to a 50/50 split of an estate in three hours I would be prepared to take a guess now at 3 hours. In this time, I believe,  an amicable (or reasonably amicable!) resolution to this dispute could be reached; one that, in the words of the Supreme Court Registrar, “everyone is a little bit unhappy with.” At $300 an hour the total cost need not exceed $1000. If Screen Australia and I were to split this, $500 a piece would be a small price to pay to resolve this matter one way or another.

The alternative to mediation is abundantly apparent. I will continue to fight, with every weapon I have at my disposal in what is an asymmetrical war, to have my name cleared of the charge that I have placed Screen Australia staff at risk whilst Screen Australia heaps onto me yet heavier loads of punishment in hopes that I will eventually succumb and accept that the sow’s ear is, indeed, a silk purse.

The ball is very much in Screen Australia’s court.

best wishes

James Ricketson

1 comment:

  1. Gaza in microcosm. Israel bombs Gaza because Gaza bombs Israel and so on ad infinitum back to 1948. Yes, the history needs to be borne in mind but not if it gets in the way of finding peace in 2012. This is the right way to proceed, James. Forget the history, focus on the resolution. This must be driving lots of people crazy though I must say it has been very entertaining and enlightening for we in the front row eating our popcorn!