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Draft Program Guidelines

Comments received Wednesday 12 November

From Britt Arthur

Comments received via PDF document


From Jason Byrne

Comments available via PDF document


From Dr Lisa Dethridge

Dear Screen Australia,
Regarding proposed changes to funding guidelines, I agree with comments which emphasize the importance of short film funding in this country. Film makers, screenwriters, cast and crew can achieve important experience working on short projects which provide a training ground for upcoming talent. In addition, short films can be screened easily at international competitions where they showcase our local talents, processes and styles which are then accessible to distributors and producers the world over.

Short film production is a crucial part of the larger feature film and cross-media ecology. Short film production provides the seeding and the foundation for training, relationships and ongoing evolution of production talent and should therefore be supported carefully within a government funding structure.

Sincerely,
Dr Lisa Dethridge


From Evan English

Comments received via Word document


From Emma Flanagan

Hello there
I am most dismayed to hear that the excellent programs at Open Channel (Melbourne) are under threat, as a result of the new Screen Australia guidelines on short film.

As Richard Lowenstein said, short films are the foundation stone of any successful director's careers. But there's not only the directors to consider; how on earth would we end up with excellent feature cast, crew, and associated industry employees, if it were not for short films, which provide a fabulous - and value for money - training ground?

Open Channel has an reputation as a professional education organisation which has a hands-on approach to its wide variety of courses and programs, with experienced practitioners. Its Raw Nerve program, in particular, is a great initiative which allows filmmakers to practise their art, craft, and business acumen, within a recognised educational framework, at a cost to the taxpayer which is, frankly, chickenfeed.

You often read in the papers the lamentable state of the Australian Film Industry and the paucity of quality in Aussie films; the lost of funding of Open Channel at its current levels would be a huge loss to both the filmmaking and greater Australian society.

Emma Flanagan
Freelance Writer


From Mary Hunter

Comments available via PDF document


From Ruth Ingham

To whom it may concern,
I am disappointed in the short sighted decision of Screen Australia to cut funding for the creation of short films. I am an emerging writer and director and I am learning valuable skills through writing and directing short films.

Whilst I haven't applied for any funding as yet, I have been working on scripts I hoped would garner assistance from organisations such as Open Channel and Screen Australia.

I hope you will reconsider your decision and assist emerging film makers to develop their skills and talent in a manageable format such as short films.

Yours sincerely
Ruth Ingham


From David King

Comments available via PDF document


From Rowena Mohr

Dear Sir/Madam,
I wish to voice my concern at the proposed decrease in funding of short films and short film programmes such as Raw Nerve by Screen Australia.

I am both an actor's agent and a screenwriter and as such I am well aware of what a vital training ground short films are for both up and coming film-makers and performers. Many of our actors receive their first on-screen experience acting in short films and of course making one or more short films is how the majority of directors gain the experience to move on to features.

We have a very lively film-making culture at the moment and it would be a shame to see that culture once more stagnate because of a lack of support from Screen Australia.

Regards,

Rowena Mohr
Ian White Management


From James Ricketson

Comments received via PDF document


From Melanie and Andre Speldewinde

Dear Commitee members of Screen Australia,
This is a serious mistake you are making by cutting the funding for Raw Nerve. My twenty-two year old son and I are short film makers, who have been ardent supporters of Raw Nerve and the exhibition of a diverse range of short films coming from a mixture of talented film-makers.

Some of the films that were screened at the recent Raw Nerve at Cinema Nova (Wed.Nov.6th'08) reinforces the need for different stories and narratives to be shown that make up our uniqueness of being Australian.

I teach Media Studies at Monash College and part of my objectives as a teacher is to introduce students to independent Australian films. How can this be done when the `independent' will soon turn to `dependent'; where artistic credibility becomes compromised and we get more of the same mainstream garbage we see at Hoyts Cinema??

Is it not your charter to foster independent cinema and challenge existing frameworks and ideologies? If we are going to get more of the same, we might as well pack up and go and live in America.

I urge you to resist economic rationalism in favour of promoting a vibrant film industry that once belonged to world class cinema.

Yours sincerely,
Melanie and Andre Speldewinde


From St Kilda Film Festival

Comments available via PDF document


From Julie Turner

Comments available via PDF document


From Tom Vogel

My name is Tom Vogel and I wish to raise my concern in regards to the slashing of funding for short films. I think short films are vital to film makers who are seeking an entry level into film making. Without short films there will be no training ground and it will be harder for the film makers to gain their first screen credit and prove their worth.

Kind Regards
Tom Vogel


From Ari Wegner

As a recent VCA graduate and young film practitioner, it troubles me deeply to learn that our new federal film body seems to have largely dismissed emerging film-makers as legitimate contributors and members of the Australian film industry.

With the absence of funding strands for short films and low-budget features in particular, the prospects of young filmmakers building their skills-base and resumes are so greatly diminished, it paints a sad picture of how little value Screen Australia places on the people that will make up our future industry.

As a young female cinematographer, I had hoped for a career in a country that supports and values those who have the passion to build a future in filmmaking. With the announcement of the draft Screen Australia guidelines however, I feel a profoundly sense of loss at the opportunities that may now never come about, and the number of talented practitioners that will not have the chance to develop into experienced filmmakers.

I urge Screen Australia to reconsider their guidelines regarding short films and low-budget features. While channeling funding away emerging filmmakers may seem attractive in the short term, Screen Australia should consider what it is they are really gambling with, the future of Australian film.

Ari Wegner


From Mike Wilcox

Comments available via PDF document