I MADE a disturbing discovery recently.

While browsing Screen Tasmania funding decisions of years gone by, I found a film that interested me.

And yet, further investigations, revealed the film was never made!

The Screen Tasmania website states: ‘In June 2005 an investment of $41,880 was made by Screen Tasmania to Troy Melville and Janine Wright for the project Returning Gilbert.
The film will focus on a Tasmanian ‘horse whisperer’ who has been asked to travel to Africa to practise her craft on a rather unusual subject.
The subject in question is Gilbert, a zebra raised in captivity for so long that he now needs to be ‘reverse engineered’ before he can be returned to the wild.
Funding from Screen Tasmania will enable Troy and Janine to travel to Africa to capture what promises to be unique footage.’

I contacted Screen Tasmania to be told that three years down the track,  there is no Returning Gilbert  film, and the money was not for making the film but for development funding.

And due to privacy laws I couldn’t be told if some of the funds were returned to Screen Tasmania due to non completion.

So, I ask:  Where is the money? And how many other previously funded films and screenplays, valuable taxpayer dollars, have never seen the light of day!

If I was to produce a documentary in Tasmania, it is required that I send a copy to the State Library. I was surprised to be informed by the Screen Tasmania Director, Karena Slaninka, that the State Library has not been receiving copies of Screen Tasmania productions. Karena stated copies are sent to the National Film and Television Archive, yet when I did an online search on NFSA’s website, I found no Screen Tasmania titles.

I am absolutely amazed, that for the money given out to local filmmakers, no projects are archived at our State Library!

Mark Shea
http://www.overlander.tv/

Mark Shea

So, I ask:  Where is the money? And how many other previously funded films and screenplays, valuable taxpayer dollars, have never seen the light of day!