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#28433 - 15 Dec 05 08:16 Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
December, 10 2005 @ 01:19 am

Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding

In a detestable move that reeks of authoritarian censorship and an obsequious bureaucratic desire to keep the truth hidden from the public, the Australian government has pulled its funding of the prestigious Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest) because it objects to four of the movies.
JiFFest, which opened on Friday (9/12/05), will feature about 201 highly regarded films from 35 countries. The festival is now in its seventh year and offers Indonesians a rare opportunity to see award-winning international films that would generally never make it to local cinemas or the pirated DVD markets.

Organizers said they were told they would not be receiving $A18,000 promised by the Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII).

The Canberra-based AII, which was set up by the Australian government in 1989 to promote friendship with Indonesia, has sponsored JiFFest in previous years and is still listed as a sponsor.

The Australian Foreign Affairs Department said it withdrew its funding because some of the films did not meet AII guidelines.

The four films that have upset the Australian bureaucrats are:

Garuda’s Deadly Upgrade. Directed by Indonesian Lexy Rambadeta and Australian David O’Shea, this documentary looks at the events surrounding last year’s murder of Indonesia’s top human rights campaigner Munir. Investigators in Jakarta have concluded that Munir was murdered in a conspiracy involving officials from national airline Garuda and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), but the notoriously crooked judiciary is now covering up BIN’s involvement and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seems too spineless to anything about it. But don’t worry, it appears the Australian government also wants to keep the truth hidden.
The President Versus David Hicks. Directed by Curtis Levy and Bentley Dean, this documentary examines the plight of Australian David Hicks, who was arrested by US forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and detained at Guantanamo Bay for allegedly being a terrorist.
Dhakiyarr Vs The King. This Australian documentary, directed by Tom Murray and Allan Collins, looks at the murder trial and subsequent disappearance of Aboriginal leader Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda some 70 years ago.
We Have Decided Not to Die. This 11-minute Australian short film is about three individuals who escape death in unusual ways.
A Foreign Affairs Department spokesman said the films would not help relations between Australia and Indonesia. "The Australia-Indonesia Institute agreed earlier this year to sponsor Australian films and associated workshops at the Jakarta International Film Festival as it's done in the past," the spokesman was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

"The organizers of the festival were advised that funding was approved on the basis that they would comply with the guidelines and the objectives of the AII. The films chosen by the festival this year do not meet the guidelines or the objectives of the AII. They will not assist to develop relations between Australia and Indonesia and they do not promote greater mutual understanding between the people of Australia and Indonesia, and so approval for funding has been withdrawn."

The withdrawal of the funding won’t stop the festival, but it will mean that some workshops, including one by Australian investigative journalist Chris Masters, will be cancelled.

JiFFest organizer Shanty Harmayn is dismayed by the Australian government’s abrupt action. "They never had any discussion with us that they would withdraw funding if they didn't like the films we selected. We never even got a proper explanation," she was quoted as saying by AAP.

She said all the films had passed censorship in Indonesia and the Munir documentary had already screened in Jakarta.

"But we're moving on. The guys are here for the workshops and we'll go ahead with everything," she said.

JiFFest director Orlow Seunke, a Dutchman, was equally upset by the Australian decision. "'Twenty-four hours before the opening - that's ridiculous. I blew up, I was so furious," he was quoted as saying by The Australian daily.

He said he couldn’t understand the objections because all of the films objected to by Australia were approved by the Indonesian Censorship Board.

"They never asked to see a list of the films. This looks like the politburo," he added.

The Indonesian Censorship Board had banned two films about East Timor from this year’s JiFFest.

Director Curtis Levy said it was “terrible that Australian bureaucrats are trying to stop Indonesians seeing these films”.

He linked the decision to withdraw the funding to Australia's new sedition laws. "It does seem coincidental that only a few days after the sedition laws were passed through parliament, this ban on our films has happened," he was quoted as saying by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

By: Roy Tupai | Category: Society & Culture
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#28434 - 15 Dec 05 09:34 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
dee Offline
Member+

Registered: 10 Nov 05
Posts: 59
Loc: Jakarta
It seems like the Australian Government being unreasonable, concerning to withdraw the funding and ist participation in Jiffest 2005. If the reason is because the four docs that previewed in Jiffest, that is such a noncent

I've seen the movie Garuda's Deadly Upgrade before, which previewed sometimes in March 2005 in Goethe Institut. And at that time there were no big deal of it. Many important people come to the screening and they gave their warm applause to the movie. And also there were neither harm nor diplomatic threats during the four days screening.

Wthdrawing the fund 24 hour before Jiffest opens it screening is beyond reasonable. It seems Australian Government forbid us to know the greater truth and for me personally it finally revealed that Australian Government is no different than Indonesia Government, where the freedom to express our perspective and the longing to know the truth are being restricted.

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#28435 - 16 Dec 05 09:14 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Hmmmmmmmm

I have to wonder why my taxes are being used to pay for films to be shown in Indonesia? A lot of Australians cannot afford to go to the movies....

As for the movies in question:

1) Non sound like blockbusters to me! I dont feel I will miss out on something if I dont see them.

2) All deal with delicate subjects that will only inflame feelings. If someone wants to make a movie on such a subject, and show it at film festivals, them good luck to them. Just dont expect me to pay for it.

We seem to live in a world where "artists" think they can make any old garbage to further their political belief, and have the CHEEK to expect other people to pay for it. Orlow Seunke the Dutchman seems pretty keen to get Australians to pay for his fun.

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#28436 - 16 Dec 05 10:48 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
dee Offline
Member+

Registered: 10 Nov 05
Posts: 59
Loc: Jakarta
Quote:
Originally posted by rosco:
Hmmmmmmmm

I have to wonder why my taxes are being used to pay for films to be shown in Indonesia? A lot of Australians cannot afford to go to the movies....

As for the movies in question:

1) Non sound like blockbusters to me! I dont feel I will miss out on something if I dont see them.

2) All deal with delicate subjects that will only inflame feelings. If someone wants to make a movie on such a subject, and show it at film festivals, them good luck to them. Just dont expect me to pay for it.

We seem to live in a world where "artists" think they can make any old garbage to further their political belief, and have the CHEEK to expect other people to pay for it. Orlow Seunke the Dutchman seems pretty keen to get Australians to pay for his fun.
Well Rosco, it seems like you're the kind of a person that don't really bothered about the current issue.. It is fine, considering there are many charasteristic reside in the globe.. However i disagree about "we live in a world where where "artist" think they can make any old garbage to further their political belief and expect other people topay for it".. No matter what, Media had its way in revealing issue, such as; revealed the Genocide in Rwanda, the violation of Human Rights in Myanmar and Thailand and so on.. So without media enhanced with the "artist" the people did not know what has happened in the other side of the world.. and for that of course needed fund in order to make it happen, and if that realized it will create something greater than "garbage" that you just mention.

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#28437 - 16 Dec 05 13:21 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
The problems are:

1) The "artist presents the issue form his/her perspective only. you get a one sided story. Watch "Supersize Me" (Morgan Spurlock), "Bowling for Columbine" (Micheal Moore) and "Farenheit 9/11" (Micheal Moore) for one sided left wing propoganda. The truth is far far different.

2) I do care about the Current Issue. I think its rather unfair to tell the world that Im not bothered about such issues. Believe me, I monitor them far more than you do, and for good reason. Im an Officer in the Army Reserve, and chances are I will end up peacekeeping, or providing humanitarian assistance, in one of these areas soon or later..... I at least want to know why!

3) Notwithstanding any of the above, I reserve the right to pay for what I WANT, not what some political activist turned part time film maker thinks I SHOULD WANT.

The audacity of some people, to tell me I should spend my money paying for their movie because it is something THEY have an opinion astounds me.

Maybe these film makers shoulsd put down the camera, pick up an aid kit, or law texbook, and do something rather than force thier crap down my throat and then charge me for it.

I am sorry that the Australians pulled out funding at the last minute. BUT - the rules on content were set out a long time ago. Some film makers chose to totally disregard them (why do they think they are above everyone else just becuase they hold a camera?) dont blame Australia, blame the idiots who entered these films.

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#28438 - 16 Dec 05 13:28 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
.

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#28439 - 16 Dec 05 15:30 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
dee Offline
Member+

Registered: 10 Nov 05
Posts: 59
Loc: Jakarta
Dear Rosco...

I do appreciate your opinion.. and for that i also admire your perspective way of life..
I've also watched "Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore), which finally opened my eyes about the dangerous of gun and bullied teenagers and also "Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore) which is the ego project of Moore in establishing negative sentiment in Bush Administration that somehow Pres.Bush is behind those 9/11 attack..

You are right about certain interest may conflict the films and somehow is just surprisingly shocked me that your opinion had a point, however at least we can give some respect to those whose managed to express their opinion freely, whether the world like it or not..

I admire your job in helping people by providing humanitarian assistance to other people needed.. That is a noble act for a person to do and its really rare to find a person w/ job like you..
I wish i had the such courage to do such action as you do..

Keep up the Good Work.. wink

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#28440 - 02 Feb 06 21:33 Re: Australia Offended By Munir Film, Axes Funding
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
.
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