The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire produced by John Christensen (co-founder of the Tax Justice Network) and directed by Michael Oswald, is a documentary film that shows how Britain transformed from a colonial power into a global financial power.
John Christensen features in my documentary, You Can’t Evict An Idea about the Occupy London experience while it was camped at St.Paul’s in the City of London.His work with the Tax Justice Network informed much of what Occupy London stood for.
The Spider’s Web speaks of complex financial instruments and legislation passed in sufficient detail to achieve the perfect balance of credibility and mass audience comprehension. The Spider’s Web leaves no room for doubt that the regulations that embolden tax haven contracts are clearly grounded in the principle of unaccountable power through money ownership.
According to John Christensen, if tax havens were to be abolished, the inequality within and between countries could be drastically reduced. Furthermore, the financial service companies based in the City of London, facilitate large-scale theft from the public purse of many developing countries by the countries’ own officials. Despite revealing with credible detail the enormity of the effects of such practices that are indirectly, yet ultimately, facilitated by the the Corporation of the City of London, the film has had trouble being accepted into any film festivals.
In the Q&A at SOAS, John and Michael revealed that after a whole year of costly film festival submission, they were not accepted into any.
There is no getting around the structure of film festival entry. The gatekeepers are individuals who may or may not follow a procedure for selection, may or may not be guided by their gut, may or may not be influenced by whether they have heard of the production company or not, may or may not be interested in the topic. What is certain is that whether there some kind of qualitative analysis going on in the selection of a film, there is always the subjectivity of the gatekeeper doing it.
For me, who is about to embark on the film festival submission journey, with my second feature You Can’t Evict An Idea, it was daunting to hear of their experience. I enjoyed and appreciated the Spiders’ Web. I related closely to what I recognised as the difficulties in film making when attempting to visually communicate anything about the City of London. Myself, I was reduced to traffic bollards!
Personally I highly recommend this film, particularly if have ever believed in what the BBC tells you about austerity and there being not enough money for public services.
It has been a while since I have blogged about the making of my second feature length documentary, the title of which I just cannot decide. I am happy to report that the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming bright enough to warrant sunglasses.
A film by an activist for activists.
The Rembrancer, the archaic position that due to its unique powers, enables the City of London, that s/he represents to thwart any discussions about financial reform in Parliament.
The film starts by explaining the nebulous power of the City of London, why we were there and what we were protesting for. This has not altered in all three drafts of the film
In my the third draft I finally emboldened myself to place my voice in the film’s theme. The creative impulse to make this film was to lay out Occupy London’s prefigurative element, in particular it’s practice of consensus. My voice over enabled me to weave together odd bits of footage and communicate succinctly about the power pools that transpired within the movement, ironically due to this ‘no leaders’ agenda.
Such power paradigms are prevalent in many movements and if there is no avenue available to challenge them, movements implode. Mistakes do not need to be re-lived over and over again and in activism they are. I have made this film so that other activists can use it to be more aware of the pit-falls of activism which can be addressed if caught in time.
Elizabeth Boardman. One of two people, Sukie Rice being the other, to introduce the use of consensus within activist groups, motivated by its use within the Quaker religion.
100% consensus with a centralized GA system should never be attempted again as it guarantees a stunted success.
Although Occupy London was essentially an important public relations manifestation about economic injustice (the 99% vs 1%) it fell short of being able to demand change by virtue of it’s power. The film proposes hat the idealism embedded in the use of the consensus model prohibits any chances of achieving, at least some, comprehensive wins. Activists have grown a bit to used to losing.
One does not need consensus of any kind to ensure horizontality.
The lesson we learnt through the Occupy London experience are still being discussed in workshops on activism currently. The academic study of social movements uses the Occupy movement as a staple example. Occupy did achieve a shift in consciousness within social change circles, that is starting to make its mark now. Many businesses and co-ops are embracing the challenges of horizontality in an effort to lead by example in radical democratic manifestations.
This blog is about how the GoPro performs in low theatre light and a bit about my time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
I took my Go Pro along with one set of radio mics because I was staying with a friend who was rigging a show and who wanted a record of the work. She was cool with it being a simple video… so I left my kit at home and instead took my bike up. Virgin trains lets you do that for free as long as you book. A good thing 🙂
“Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a place where dreams go to die”…. according to Randy (see below) Before that however the artists and techies I met were collectively friendly, sweet, and engaged. What EFF gives them, (and what they pay considerbly for) is a saturation of their peers’ theatre at discounted prices and-or for free , access to VIP areas which are always a lot of fun so they can network like crazy and be inspired along with having a great time. Coming up from London, and slipping into the EFF VIP scene thanks to my connection with my mate Stormy, the rigger extraordinaire…..made me feel like I had died and gone to heaven.
I own the GoPro Silver Hero 4 .
I firstly used the setting of 6400 ISO because I thought the theatre lighting would need it. My Sony FS100 handles 6400 quite well however I discovered that the GoPro does not … not at all! Pixelated to such a degree that although I was doing it as a thank you gesture for the holiday, I still have a professional reputation to protect and this imagery challenged that. The worse part was how pixelated the black was and there was a lot of black in each scene. The sound using the usb to mini jack adaptor plugged into a Sennheisser receiver from the sound desk worked brilliantly.
The next day I used the 1600 ISO and it was better but still with a lot of bleeding and glare. Not impressive but not as awful as 6400. There was not another day for me shoot so I could find out what 400 ISO might have looked like. 400 ISO is the best quality the GoPro can offer but judging from the 1600 ISO I do not believe the 400 ISO would have been bright enough to see the talent… let alone the darker parts of the stage. Not being able to change these settings while the camera is on is quite a shame.
I did have my field of view on Narrow because I could not get close enough to be able to use anything else and from everything that I have read this Narrow setting should not affect quality.
Conclusion : The GoPro is pretty hopeless in low light.
The shows I saw and loved.
In 2.5 days I saw 5 shows, one Supper Club, a short physical performance around pieces of fragile sculptures worth thousands of pounds and quite a few buskers. I loved every minute of it.
Grace by Emma Serjeant
Dark circus. Physical performance about regret and human fragility. Sometimes physical theatre can be a work of art… and Grace graces us with a balance of depth and connectedness that transported me unwillingly to personal memories/feelings that I did not necessarily want to return to. I guess that is what one calls ‘powerful theatre’ Her physical abilities are clearly extraorinary and understated enough to draw you back in subtly from your own thoughts, gracefully pulling back to the present theatre of misfortune. It was an amazing show.
Lady Rizo by Amelia Zirin-Brown
Strong women whose strength comes from their feminity is always really refreshing to see. Her voice is sooooo good and one that you could listen to for ever. It was a time limited show as she points out at the end and I do feel honoured to have audienced it. Although all of it was really entertaining and funny and clever it was her feeding her baby boy on stage that was tender to the extreme. While feeding him she sang him a song that I have found on line. The song’s original singer songwriter is My Brightest Diamond. Lady Rizo does a great cover and the original is only made better because of the knowledge that it is the original. Both voices are dreamy. It is in this part of the show that tears started streaming down my face. It was all so exquisite and we we all had to be quiet and we were.
Sex Clowns Save The World by Betty Grumble
Mad mad social commentary. I love this kind of bonkers theater. Sex Clowns Save The World starts with a practically nude woman with a large metal rubbish bin on her head. It was a great opening and what she did with the Globe was not all that shabby.
Once by Derveo
The paralysis of love! The protaganist is so in love that he bores his desired partner by his inability to communicate due to such intensity of feeling. Another comes along smooth and suave who is made out to be the baddy because well .. he is successful. It is an emotional roller coaster with a burdened Cupid who clumsily and hesitantly shoots his arrow. The woman’s reaction to the whirlwind going on around her.. is gold. I loved it.
Randy Writes A Novel by Heath McIvor
Puppetry at its best. Its been nominated for best comedy in the festival and judging on how many times I laughed out loud I can understand why. It was the first show I saw and was impressed that ‘Randy’ managed to talk about veganism in a hilarious yet committed way. Randy has written a novel and he is tortured about reading it to anyone. I have been working on a feature documentary, for the last three years, (6 out of 8 sections done) that no one other than my girlfriend has seen and I intimately related to the angst before presenting it to the public, that Randy communicates in such a clever and humorous way. It was joyous to share the burden! Positively healing! Thank you Randy. I highly recommend this show for a good laugh!
On the last night of the Supper Club we all had a sing a long of a song that was written about 5 years ago now – 8 Miles Wide. I have since looked it up on line and although it has over a million hits, I had never heard it before.. It was a presented as a welcome to refugees owed to the diversity element of the festival. What I really loved is when Ameilia Riot got the men in the audience singing at the top of their voices “My vagina is 8 miles wide…. absolutely everyone can come inside…..”. Hilarious.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 has given me more laughs than I have had all year!! Thank you x
Transforming Finance, held at UCL, Bedford Way, Central London, organized by the Finance Innovation Lab, May 11th brought together campaigners, trade unionists, policymakers, researchers, academics and innovators to share their projected solutions to what they considered to be the most pressing flaws in our finance industy. I was there filming short interviews for the Finance Innovation Lab for a video due out on June 20th.
Key Note speaker was Lord Adair Turner.
The light at the end of the dark and eerie finance tunnel (that traditional economists and financiers seem stuck in) is lit by the critical thinkers of this conference
The light at the end of the dark and eerie finance tunnel (that traditional economists and financiers seem stuck in) is lit by the critical thinkers of this conference. Their suggested reform; restructure; revamp; and re-regulation of their chosen targets was heartening because it was delivered in a manner that was accessible, ie: not gobbily gook. My personal research for the Occupy London film, Tense at St.Paul’s that I am produce-directing, revealed that no substantial changes have occured in the finance industry since the Global Financial Crisis and yet the Tory government imply the exact opposite. Call me naive, but not being an expert in finance, just a mere filmmaker, did not give me the confidence to be anything but confused. I like to believe that a semblance of truth is said by our political leaders. This conference validated my research and such validation sparkled my mind. Repeat the solutions, reiterate them, reproduce them until they are recited by others seems to be the way to go. The inherent repetition (since around 2011) was ironically promising.
…..time is quite a factor in a ticking bomb scenario, which most speakers implied the finance industry still is
problems unite, solutions divide
However problems unite and solutions divide. This human condition/phenomena was present despite all participants being flawlessly civil about it. The stakes are really high and people feel passionately about their chosen solution. It is not that any of the solutions were at dire odds with each other from my understanding, but each would take quite some time to lobby for and then implement and time is quite a factor in a ticking bomb scenario, which most speakers implied the finance industry still is.
One of my regular daydreams kicked in, in between takes:A weekly (video-on-line) program where such thinkers can voice updates or new findings on their chosen ‘campaign’. The program would highlight grassroots movements and campaigners and defy the dictatorship of the fabricated news cycle. Its measure of success would be in the number of people it inspires to actively participate in the campaigns it covers.
Ideas are cheap…opinions even more so. Solution seeking requires not only creativity but its marketting too. Most creators just don’t have the time to do what it takes to market their ideas so as to ensure their ideas gain enough traction to make their mark and to furthermore inspire public mobilisation around. This video program would address this gap in the communication of bright ideas.
Alice asked : Were art thou funding?
Mad Hatter : In The Havens…. If you are good you too could end up there.
Alice lowered her brow knowingly, for she was certain that she was as good as all the people she knew who had ended up in The Havens.
The creation of blue prints is what is needed now and Benoit Lallemand (Finance Watch) is part of creating just that. Finance Watch based in Brussells’ focus is on the relationship of finance and an economy that does not destroy the planet. Moving beyond the faults and creating solutions is where the light is and I was a getting a sun tan. It felt good. Until the video is commissioned, I shall summarise the response to the question :
What do you feel is the most important change to the finance system that needs to be implemented?
The response from around 20 interviewees fell into 6 main categories.
Democratisation of the finance system which included making it less complex so as there to be a point to it being more transparent. Not much point in it being transparent if no one can understand it right? Also in this category was the call for regulation to stop the banks’s unaccountability and furthermore acting with impunity.
Addressing the issue of some banks being too big to fail. There was a general agreement that breaking up the large banks and making them more local was an important measure for a variety of reasons. The suggestion that the government should lead the way by doing so to RBS was given more than once. This category also addresses the demise of lending to the real economy (noted since the crash) which many believe is a direct consequence of the shareholder banks’ lack of interest in the real economy compared to smaller banks whose business might actually depend on lending to small businesses . For example, banks who only can lend to people within a specific geographic area.
The characteristics of Quantitive Easing need to be more directed into green initiatives, the real economy and even helicopter money (the radical concept of simply giving people and businesses money to establish themselves).
The link between housing and speculation needs to be snapped. Essentially the inflation that is allowed to balloon in the housing market needs to be qualified as such: inflation, which is endemically unstable and has largely negative consequences for the vast majority of the populace.
Lord Adair Turner suggest that there needs to be more capital.. that is the ratio between how much a bank has in comparison to how much is lends needs to be higher. (No Shit Sherlock) For most people the fact that there isn’t a regulated ratio is mentally repellent. A videographer at a family dinner party for example… cannot convince family folk of what really happens in terms of capital vs exposure . Osborne promised such regulation in his June 2011 Chancellor Speech and yet, no regulation has transpired. Repetition in this instance was not all that promising. A critique on what the hell is stopping governmental control would be more advanced at this stage, especially from a man in his position. It was estimated at 3% once upon a time. Most now estimate that it is less than 1%. Reports by EU think tanks and the Bank of International Settlements call for it to beanywhere between 7% and 17% . Tory government promised that it would be at least 7% but have done sweet FA to see that happen. The private banks are still creating money out of debt, (digital numbers) systematically (when they approve loans) but with no governmental control. Lest we forget that if you cannot keep up your loan… the banks (who had nothing to begin with) take the non-digital, brick and mortar house plus the property its on! .It is my hope that one day this process will become known as the crime of the century. Until then all we can really do apparently is watch it happen to one poor soul after another….in the UK.
It is not a theory or an opinion but a developed tool to help hold financiers accountable – NOW.
I had my personal favorites!
Neil Chandler is from Cathartic. Cathartic is an anonymous platform where anyone can share anything. They have now developed it for whistleblowing for the finance sector. By enabling employees to communicate with complete anonymity through Cathartic, real issues can be brought to the forefront and organisations can better support their workforce. ROCK ON! This appealed to me. Its a tool you know. One that is immediately available. It is not a theory or an opinion but a developed tool to help hold financiers accountable – NOW. Turns out he is a fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab.
I first heard this lady, Mariana Mazzucato reveal how much of Apple’s innovation was actually developed in the public sector, in a Ted X talk. Mariana champions the public ownership/nationalisation of the finance sector, by firstly highlighting its innovation and challenging the mantra that nothing revolutionary comes from government technological research and development and then demanding that the government maintain ownership of it so as to boost the public purse with it profits. She is a great dynamic speaker who steals the show with her point of view and her delivery.
On Wednesday I attended the Digital Journalism Skills Workshop put on by the National Union of Journalists of whom I am a member.
Like 99% of all content providers, serious journalists are creatives and creatives’ job security and pay have gotten lower in the digital age. Some call this progress.
Time to break new ground again….if it has not broken you first.
So we were all there to get some good tips on how to generate cash from our online work. The take home gem from the first session was ‘create an audience and find ways to sell them things’. I think it is fair to say that we all had hoped that there was another way. We are not marketeers after all. Bugger.
Tim Dawson, author of Make eBooks Pay and New Ways to Make Money from Writing, encouraged us to promote goods, affiliate market, review products and monetize our “content” The fatal wound (for me) was the discovery that Amazon sustains many a successful e-book, affiliate marketeer and any avoidance of working with the jungle of tax avoidance that Amazon is, will make a very difficult job impossible. Time to break new ground again….if it has not broken you first.
Digital journalism is all about selling products and by ‘product’ I mean tangible made in China stuff, not investigated intelligence or intellectual review.
Then Christian Payne, one of the UK’s foremost mobile storytellers spoke. He travels the world, takes photos and videos and uploads and manages to get paid handsomely for his time.
As a filmmaker/many-other-roles I have been to numerous film-making related workshops and this reminded me of them. The format is usually that of a speaker who is outrageously successful speaking to an audience of people who are outrageously unsuccessful.
I tend to walk away from these workshops feeling more dis-empowered because I would have just learnt of more opportunities that had never crossed my path, and if they had, I would re-live the moment I had f***** up those moments and have anxiety attacks of varying intensities depending on how recent those moments were.
I tend to walk away from these workshops feeling more dis-empowered….
For the first half hour Christian Payne divided his successes chronologically in years. I was finding it hard to concentrate. I closed my book of notes, thinking “I get it mate.. you have done well” He spoke of his success in 2010 and I wondered what I was failing at in 2010. In 2011 he used this and that equipment that is now relatively obsolete so no need to jot them down and my mind drifted to 2011, the year when I met the highest maintenance girlfriend I have ever had and joined Occupy London, a dubious career choice if ever there was one.
However something about Christian was sweet. He made an effort to be amusing which repeatedly brought me back into the room, pschologically speaking. He was more likeable than painful despite his success. Finally we got to 2015. The equipment was relevant. I jot it down. As the talk proceeded we learn that his success is based on him having almost no secrets to his trade. His on line presence shares every piece of equipment that he uses for example, and affiliate markets it.
I felt glad that such a nice guy had grabbed the bull by its horns and not been mauled to death by his initiative.
Christian self funds his trips and lets professionals know where he is and generates work that way. It was an interesting flip-of-the-script scenario. His infrastructure of journalists and editors who know and trust his work is his gold mine. By the end of the session I felt glad that such a nice guy had grabbed the bull by its horns and not been mauled to death by his initiative.
In the afternoon Janet Awe spoke. Her take home message was to work all the time, although I am not entirely sure she sees it that way. She repeatedly said “..do it on a Sunday afternoon, (while you are relaxing)” and personally I would prefer to be cooking, watching a movie or walking in the woods on a Sunday afternoon, not selling on social media.
As a member of NUJ I paid a reasonable £27.00 for a days worth of information and for me it was worth every penny.
Despite my dryness towards the successful it is important to get that injection of acknowledgement that what you are doing is the right thing to do; that you just gotta keep doing it even if your ultimate agenda is not cash necessarily… we all want to reach as many people as possible… and do it in a way that is sustainable wh which does involve some cash. At some stage there will be ads on the side these blogs. God knows what they will advertise but whatever it is it will have nothing to do with me and everything to do with the web browsing history of the reader. So I am not sure why I am so avert to the whole idea of it. I must be some sort of fundamentalist (taking the fun out of being mental)
Although Christian’s approach is refreshingly different and he was the more inspiring speaker of day he is practically in bed with Amazon and that does not sit right with me. At the end of the day, most of us are in this game because we love it and when you love something, I guess you gotta take the good with the bad. Its just what defines ‘unacceptably bad’ is different in all of us. I often wish I did not know what I know about entities such as Amazon and Starbucks. Just like most vegans love and miss cheese and donuts I miss the time when I did not have a clue about our economy and was not convinced that consumer activism is the very least we can do.
I often wish I did not know what I know about entities such as Amazon and Starbucks.
I am just back from a great two days at the ECampaigning Forum conference. I was part of the CampaignFilm video crew working with Andrew Davies and Lewis Davies who are (not related) both awesome filmmakers. It was great working as part of a crew of professional filmmakers and what was even better was to be doing that at a conference packed with full-time campaigners in a friendly, non heirarchical conference.
From animal protection, to worker’s rights, to water security in far away places, to fair trade and much more; all seemed to have the common thread of progress for the well-being of life including that of our planet. I dug it.
The format of the conference was perfect for me at any rate. The conference started (for most) with 2 keynote speakers. Then we had tea and biscuits and moved into any one of a choice of Open Space discussion work groups based around topics that had been crowd sourced at the start of the day. I had seen this done at the larger activist campaigns I had been a part of and I wondered who had come up with this method of skill sharing – did activists get it from NGOs or did NGOs get it from activists. It was not the place to ask.
Main hall, Keble College, Oxford, UK
Lunch was served in the Keble College dining room which feels like a Harry Potter staged set and the long boarding school type tables allowed for mingling and networking much more efficiently than single round tables might have been. The location was glorious. I almost felt guilty being in such a beautiful place that exuded wealth……but I did not. I felt like I had hovered for a year and somehow landed amongst the 1% of the activist world and I gotta admit, I liked the indulgence even though it was momentary.
Keble College, where i was lucky enough to get a room, in Oxford University is about 150 years old. The room was large. The view was stunning. As I walked through the garden I felt like I was in a sliding shot in a big budget film. It was surreal. It was brought to attention that the conference participants were predominately white and although I believe that they all wish that the conference had more diversity, it didn’t. At £500 a pop, in such a location… it’s stretching the faith somewhat to think that diversity would organically transpire. Some were more aware of their privilege than others. Others still worked as volunteers for their privilege.
As a volunteer myself with CampaignFilm, I helped film 4 of the many sessions (easy peasy and enjoyable). A part of me felt like the kid who got into public school with the ‘scholarship for the disadvantaged’. but I take full responsibility for that feeling. Just like a scholarshipped kid, I was motivated to drink in to excess the wealth of knowledge I was surrounded by. As an activist film maker making a feature on Occupy London no one implied that I should not be there. On the contrary , I felt welcomed on every level.
I am confident that unpaid activists (eg Heathrow 13) and or people who started campaigns from being personally involved in an issue (eg FocusE15) would contribute to the richness of such an event. I do not think it is impossible to include more of us (not that I am dedicated to being unpaid forever may it be noted pleeeeze) …. but it would take the genuine will to do it so as to have the energy to deal with the bumps in that road as they come. Cross pollination of both ‘sectors’ is long overdue.
Melanie Strickland from the #Heathrow 13 was mentioned in a talk called 100 years of Women Led Activism. I laughed with joy to see my mate up there on a screen being revered.
Here is a short clip that has been sitting on my hard drive for months!
Some more unedited clips from #Heathrow13’s victory lap
As a queer videographer I guess it should come as no surprise that I found the key note speakers on the Ireland Same Sex Marraige victory and the workshops by Andrew Davies about 360˚ cameras and Richard Roaf from AlterEco about viral video tips most memorable and helpful. As much as I love videography, I am also interested in campaigning as well. It was great to hear gems from campaigners who, on one level seemed to have thought through concepts to death (post resurrection) , but on the other hand have managed to (occasionally) get laws changed. I was impressed.
At ECF2016 I was working with two groups of people who were madly experienced in both videography and campaigning. I was in work heaven. A list of the participants can be found here.
I am already looking forward to next years when I can hopefully film and learn as much as I did this year.
The Panama Papers are pampering academics and activists with acknowledgment. It is a great time to be fighting the system. The western world is drowning in facts and figures of how wrong our debt based economy which has ballooned the banks has been. But then again… few get medals for the wisdom of hindsight.
Joylon Rubinstein, a BBC personality known best for his satire The Revolution Will Be Televised speaking to an upbeat crowd of around 1000 – 2000 people outside 10 Downing Street, 9 April 2016 at the Resign David Cameron rally. By 11pm that evening this short video I shot had 86K views on Facebook. My highest rating of any video ever! Its all about timing!
David Cameron has now come undone. Not for much and not because he broke the law…. but because he is the prime minister and he slithered past the law. Like a closeted gay man who slurs gay men in public, it the sheer hypocrisy that is so repellent.
I went to the rally to demand his resignation. My main motivation was not his fathers ‘present’ but that was a the faultline through which I and 1000 others shamelessly found leverage. Personally I do not want to live in a country that is governed by a man that 24% of the population voted for. A man whose every principle is governed by cowardice in the face of what needs to be done to save the planet and ensure economic stability for the majority. Like a mafia gangsta, it’s the tax man that will hopefully mark his end barring nothing else…. very telling.
This is an eloquent and passionate story that brings a necessary human dimension to a highly politicised crisis. Australian filmmaker Inka Stafrace courageously journeys through Israeli military incursions in the West Bank to discover for herself some of the human truths behind this devastating issue that holds the world in divide.
Hope in a Slingshot is the only Australian film ever to be accepted for broadcast by the ABC of Australia and to be later fully censored by the ABC itself
Although the ABC Aquisitions Department accepted the film, making an offer that Ronin Films accepted, the Head of the ABC TV, Kim Dalton renegged on the offer, ignoring all interdepartmental procedure. The despotic use of his position in this instance, disappointed many internal staff at the ABC, the Friends of the ABC, journalists and various advocates for free speech. Senator Scott Ludlum from the Green Party would later argue the case to have Hope In A Slingshot broadcast in the Senate Estimates in 2010 but unfortunately failed.
For the ABC to air it would incur an obligation, as required by Clause 6.6.3 of its Editorial Policies, to broadcast another program to “balance” it. Because producers had “not been able to access content which would put an alternative view”, Dalton continued, the plan to run Inka’s film would have to be scrapped – New Matilda.com
Two award winning counter-argument films were sourced by advocates of Hope, their producers contacted and their permission for screening acquired. Effectively the ABC were not being sincere about not finding balancing documentaries. They made not effort to look or to accept what was found for them. It should be noted that many consider the the daily news to be an overtly sufficient balance in any manner. The cold truth is that the ABC did not return any efforts by Hope advocates to communicate. Their co-operation cannot be assumed when considering the reasons behind the ultimate censorship of the film Hope In A Slingshot.
It is the film maker’s conviction that Kim Dalton was pressured to use his position to pull the film two months before its set broadcast date mid December 2010, by supporters of the occupation of the West Bank. Once the case was being heard in the Senate Estimates, the ABC chose to discredit the sources of the statistics used in the film, as well as Inka’s integrity as a filmmaker. It should be noted that part of the procedure to initially accept the film, by the ABC’s acquisition editors, included ensuring that Inka Stafrace (the Director-Producer) was not sponsored or funded by any faction involved in the Israel-Palestine situation. The integrity of the film led to it being accepted in the first place. The sources, which were all referenced in the film’s credits and endorsed by the Centre for Middle East & North African Studies at Macquarie University, United Nations, included university reports, publications and large credible NGO reports. The ABC played dirty in discrediting the ‘sources’ without once mentioning what they actually were. Once Dalton pulled the film, it is clear that nothing was done by the ABC to check the sources and it was insincere of them to imply otherwise.
Interestingly enough, one full year after the last Senate Estimates hearing on Hope, the ABC rehauled their editorial policy completely. Many at the ABC unofficially relate this overhaul to the experience of Hope In A Slingshot. Clause 6.6.3 does not exist anymore and neither does anything like it.
This hard-hitting documentary is about power and control, exploitation and dispossession, injustice and persecution. Through dynamic maps, statistics, interviews (with lawyers, ex-prisoners, Israeli soldiers, wounded teenagers, farmers and settlers) and the personal experiences of the filmmaker, the film demonstrates just what is happening to Palestinians and their human rights as their daily lives and opportunities are increasingly restricted by the actions of Israeli soldiers and civilians. The film also explores the way in which the United Nations and other countries are unable – or unwilling – to halt these incursions.
Travelling on her own, the filmmaker takes us through the underbelly of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Her film, often shot at considerable personal risk, creates a remarkable picture of what day-to-day life is like for Palestinians living in the West Bank.
Official Selection! Iran International Film Festival 2008
The film has received many expressions of support. Dr Jake
Lynch, Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Sydney Peace Foundation, makes the following comment: HOPE IN A SLINGSHOT is “extremely impressive. … A signal contribution to peaceful media representation of this conflict”.
Inka Stafrace, founder of Polly Tikkle Productions, director-producer, holds an Associate Diploma in Audio Visual Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Her experience in audio visual engineering enables her to get the best in event documentation.
You Can’t Evict An Idea-Occupy London On Film’s film festival fund!