Jane Rankin-Reid

AMONG TASMANIA’S unfunded local filmmaking heroes is dedicated football fan Martin Duffy.
By day, 38 year old Duffy makes multimedia promos for corporations, dance events and bands. His footy clips are often aired on Win TV. After hours, Duffy’s coverage of regional footy games ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime, capturing the cleanest goals and the worst dropped balls, all part of the unique essence of Tasmanian football, he believes. With gentle wit and great camera style Duffy explores the passions surrounding local footy games, from loyal tuck shop ladies running pie ovens and tea urns, to kids’ kick offs, and his unique statewide “Sav Test”.

Why haven’t we seen this talented filmmaker’s work before? Until now, Duffy’s spare energy has been dedicated to his free internet website, DuffTV, (wwwdufftv.com.au), presenting clips of local games and footy events. Viewers subscribe free to Duff TV’s weekly updates and new material. Next month, Duffy will launch “The Map”, a weekly “people’s football” show pilot, “to breakdown barriers, tell our own stories and put the “real” person back on the map”, he says. “Tasmanian TV used to have a much more local feel, broadcasting kids, sports and chat show programs about regional issues, making isolated island people feel they mattered. Anyone covered on these programs walked tall and communities were more closely bound.” Broadband changes the nature of community TV content and access, Duffy believes. “We’ve had the same generic national programs for decades, but soon people will get 80CM TV/computer monitors connected to free-to-air TV, cable and internet content.”

Internet video broadcasting is where indie filmmakers like Duffy will triumph, he feels. Although online ads and website partnership revenues are still small, exposure to global footy fans is growing fast. “The Map” increases Duffy’s sponsorship opportunities tremendously he believes. Meanwhile, from his vast trove of interviews with footy stars and fans at Tasmania’s many district matches, another story may emerge. While Duffy’s do-it-yourself dream of a weekly online local footy show doesn’t yet attract film funding, his dogged initiative in internet broadcasting may soon offer compelling alternatives to mainstream Tasmanian stories.

From the Sunday Tasmanian, 24th February 2008

Earlier: Little to show for $4.5m handout