Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Screen Australia Filmmaker Board members banning a fellow filmmaker!

Is this right? Shouldn’t Richard Keddie, Rachel Perkins, Claudia Karvan and Rosemary Blight provide their filmmaking coleague with evidence of his crimes? With an opportunity to defend himself against the charges?

Members of the Screen Australia Board
Level 4, 150 William St
Woolloomooloo 2011

3rd  November 2013

Dear Board Members

Your decision to ban me for one year in May 2012 was intended to cause maximum damage to my career. You succeeded admirably. You did not feel the need to provide evidence of the crimes for which I was being banned. Your decision to extend the ban by a year, to May 2014, was designed to inflict yet more damage. Again, no reason was given for why the Board felt it necessary to extend the ban.

The ban is not my major concern now. The damage has been done to my career  in ways that you intended it to. This cannot be undone. However, after  more than 40 years working as a filmmaker in Australia I am not prepared to accept that the Screen Australia Board can accuse me of intimidating and placing at risk members of Screen Australia’s staff without being provided with evidence. Yes, I will accept the ban (as I have stated many times now) if you provide me and my fellow filmmakers with one iota of evidence in support of the proposition that I have intimidated or placed anyone at risk. You have not. You will not. You cannot. There is no evidence. You made a major error of judgment  in agreeing to Ruth Harley’s ban without even having a Board meeting to discuss it, without either presenting me with evidence or giving me an opportunity to respond to it.

As I have written a few times now, I do not think it appropriate that Graeme Mason should have to inherit this dispute and be placed in a position of having to decide whether or not to recommend to the Board to lift the ban or to keep it in place. As I have mentioned, the ban is no longer all that important to me. My reputation is, however.

I will, if need be, ask Graeme to provide me with evidence of the crimes his predecessor used as a pretext for the ban. I should not need to and I would hope, given that Ruth Harley is going to stick to her guns and refuse to provide evidence, that the Board might do so before Graeme takes up his post later this month.

best wishes

James Ricketson

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