Sunday, February 2, 2014

letter to Minister for the Arts The Hon George Brandis

The Hon George Brandis MP
Minister for the Arts
Commonwealth Parliament Offices
Level 361 Eagle St
Brisbane QLD 4000                                                                                       

27th Jan 2014

Dear Senator Brandis

Further to my letter of 6th Jan.

On 6th Jan I wrote also to Screen Australia’s new Chief Executive, Graeme Mason regarding a screenplay I co-authored about the  famous Sydney eccentric Bea Miles. In it I included the following:

“In the meantime, in order to take advantage of one filmic opportunity open to me, I will rewrite THURSDAY’S CHILD as an American story – set in New York and with the working title BAG LADY. The Australian Film Commission is the major investor in the project. However, given the ban placed on me and the impossibility now that THURSDAY’S CHILD can be made as an Australian film, please accept this letter as a formal request that Screen Australia write off its investment in THURSDAY’S CHILD and thus enable me to pursue the project unencumbered by the debt accrued through the AFC’s development of the project. In the event that Screen Australia is not prepared to write off its investment please let me know how much it will cost the production to repay the debt owing to Screen Australia and I will arrange for this sum to be paid as soon as possible.”

I have received no response from Mr Mason. In the meantime I have received a concrete offer of money to re-write THURSDAY’S CHILD as a US story. I will take up the offer on the presumption that Screen Australia has written off its investment in this project – just as it has, in its high-handed manner, with no qualms and with not even the pretense of transparency and accountability, written me off as a Australian filmmaker by banning me.

In the event that BAG LADY goes into production in the US some contractual arrangement will clearly need to be arrived at between the production company and Screen Australia regarding the AFC’s investment in the development of the screenplay to date.

yours sincerely
James Ricketson
cc Members of the Screen Australia Board

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