Claudia Karvan, Al Clarke, members of the Screen Australia Board, you say I pose a risk to SA staff. Owing to your duty of care, you say, you cannot allow SA staff to meet with or communicate with me. You refuse to provide me with any evidence that I pose a risk; that I have engaged in ‘highly offensive conduct’. The reason is simple. There is none. And you know it. Your ban is a fatwa; punishment for a critic; a warning to other filmmakers.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Development application by a banned filmmaker!
My application to Screen Australia of last week has, predictably, been ignored! Script Development
150 William St
Woolloomooloo 2011 22nd May 2013
Dear Script Development
re SHIPS IN THE NIGHT
Despite having been banned by Ruth Harley and the Screen Australia Board from making any applications at all to SA, I am making an application anyway to test the waters. If Script Development chooses to refuse to accept my application I trust that I will be given evidence-based reasons why I was banned in the first place.
Ruth Harley’s ban is based on the premise that I have, in my correspondence with SA, harassed, intimidated and placed at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff. This is nonsense. It is a lie. I have been asking, for more than a year now, for Ruth Harley and the Screen Australia Board to provide me with one paragraph, one sentence, one phrase or even a couple of words that bear witness to the crimes I have been accused and found guilty of. Neither Ruth Harley nor the Board believes that it is necessary to provide me or anyone else with evidence. Allegations are all that are required under Ruth Harley’s stewardship of Screen Australia.
I have continued to work as a filmmaker despite Ruth Harley and the Board’s ban. Being blacklisted by Screen Australia does not make this easy but then filmmaking for an independent filmmaker has never been easy so this ban, born of Ruth Harley’s desire for revenge on a vocal critic, is not the end of the world. I will still be making films when Ruth Harley is a dim (and rather unpleasant) memory for all in the film industry who have endured her reign this past five years.
I have written half a dozen drafts of various screenplays whilst officially a ‘banned filmmaker’ this past 12 months and will now produce one of these screenplays (SHIPS IN THE NIGHT) as a very low budget feature film. My first task is to cast the film whilst, at the same time, doing readings of the screenplay with professional actors to find out what is a working, what is not working and what may be improved as far as dialogue is concerned. I have a list of actors interested in being involved in these readings. With a cast in place and some test scenes I will seek to raise as much money as I can for the film – in the full knowledge that Screen Australia’s ban (whether it is in place officially or unofficially) will not help me in this endeavor.
To this end I am applying to Screen Australia for $5,400 to conduct these readings in the not too distant future.