Thursday, September 24, 2015

Another application from a 'banned filmmaker' accepted by Screen Australia computer!

I am now in the somewhat unusual situation of being a ‘banned’ filmmaker whose applications are nonetheless accepted by the Screen Australia computer!

Will I hear back from Graeme Mason? It seems not. 

Graeme Mason
Chief Executive
Screen Australia
Level 7, 45 Jones St
Ultimo 2007   

4th  September 2015                                                                           

Dear Graeme


For as long as the Screen Australia computer accepts my applications, I will work on the presumption that SA management (and the board) have decided, with no fanfare, to drop the ban on me and assess my film projects on the basis of their merits.

When I first conceived the broad outlines of ANGKOR I intended, wearing my producer’s hat, to find another writer or two to help me develop the series. I also intended to find another director (possibly two) to help produce the series. And a co-producer to fulfill those producing roles I am not well equipped to perform.

It did not take long to dawn on me that such plans were unrealistic. My name associated with ANGKOR would make it impossible to get to square one (applying for script development monies), let alone squares two, three and four. Regardless of how good the project was, those with whom I might work on it would be denied the opportunity to do so on the basis of the ban on me.  I realized  I would have to do everything myself and hope, once the screenplays were completed, that broadcaster and distributor interest would be sufficient to raise money for the series regardless of the Screen Australia ban on me.  This I have done for the past year, in amongst other projects I have been working on. It is still my hope, however, to assemble a team to develop this series.

ANGKOR is, if you like, Australia’s answer to the first (but not the second) series of TRUE DETECTIVE. It is intended to be shot on the streets of Phnom Penh, in the Cambodian countryside and in an Australian based studio. Or, if it turns out not to be an Australian based series, I will rewrite the Australian leads as citizens of another country – the one whose studio and or/broadcaster has picked up the series. There is, of course, no guarantee that anyone will pick up ANGKOR but the response I have had to date from various sources makes me cautiously optimistic that ANGKOR will find a home somewhere in the world if Australia is not an option.

If the fatwa against me remains in place, regardless of Screen Australia’s  computer acceptance of yet another project of mine, so be it. I will keep submitting applications until such time as the computer rejects me.

best wishes

James Ricketson

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