Media release issued Sept 22
The Arts Minister Elise Archer announced on Sept 18 that “The Cultural and Creative Industries Act 2017 includes an independent system of peer assessment and expert advice in all funding decisions under Screen Tasmania and Arts Tasmania. However, all grant recipients have a responsibility to ensure they use funding appropriately and within the guidelines of the law. Accordingly, to maintain the integrity of this independent process, I have asked for the assessment process to be reviewed to ensure that illegal activities are not promoted or endorsed.”
Our position is that, far from maintaining the integrity of the process, such a review threatens the independence of screen funding in the state. The decisions of Tasmania’s arts funding bodies Screen Tasmania and Arts Tasmania must remain independent of the politics of the day. Interference in this process, or even the suggestion of it, will tarnish these agencies' reputations, their relationship with filmmakers and artists and the state’s reputation as a place of artistic excellence.
At a time when creative workers face diminishing opportunities and great economic uncertainty, the last thing they should have to worry about is a fight to maintain their artistic integrity.
We agree with Minister Archer’s statement that Screen Tasmania’s production funding decisions are based on an independent system of peer assessment and expert advice. The process is appropriately at arms-length of government and therefore the assessment process does not need to be reviewed in this case.
We call on all members of parliament to throw their support behind Tasmanian screen businesses and filmmakers during this challenging time so that we can get back to work - work that shapes and reflects our culture and contributes to the state’s economy.
This statement is issued by Wide Angle Tasmania and supported by the following filmmakers, screen business owners and individuals:
Lara Van Raay
Andrew Del Vecchio
Tony De Cesare
Additional support for the statement (received after the media release was issued) include:
Tasmanian Filmmakers Alliance
Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Australia - Tasmanian chapter
Rolf de Heer