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Disgraceful distribution deal



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NEWS RELEA!

Senator Chris Puplick Shadow Minister for the Environment and Arts

IMMEDIATE RELEASE_________________________ All/89 18 DECEMBER 1989

DISGRACEFUL DISTRIBUTION DEALĀ·

The news that distribution rights from some 20 Australian films have fallen into the hands of an obscure Panamian-registered company and all being deliberately held-up reinforces the key commitment in the Coalition's Arts Policy for a national inquiry

into film distribution matters.

The twenty or so films include classics such as Careful, He Might Hear You; Newsfront; Goodbye Paradise and The Night Prowler. The distribution rights were sold for only $550,000 by the

discredited Wran-creation, the NSW Film Corporation. This incompetent and worthless body was wound up by the Liberal State Government when it came to office - the body having lost some $10 million and been subject to trenchant criticism by the State's

Public Accounts Committee.

However before it went, this Wran creation had managed to poison the well for a lot of Australian film producers.

The deal with the Panamian company Pepper Distribution is for an unprecedented 75 years! I have never heard of such a disgraceful deal in the film industry.

Under it, these films while available on video are being denied proper showing in cinemas and all being withheld from public viewing or study by students.

Most producers were never told that their films had been sold off like this. All those associated with this shabby deal should be held to account for what they have done to our Australian film industry. They owe us all an explanation.1

The Coalition Arts Policy, released as far back as September 1988, identified distribution problems as one of the key areas of unresolved difficulty within the Australian film industry. We drew attention to the fact that the recommendations of major

inquiries going back as far as 1973 remained unaddressed.

We pledged a full "national examination of the problems being faced by Australian film producers getting adequate access for the distribution and exhibition of their product".

This latest tragedy for the industry validates entirely our policy. In this area as in so many others, Labor has neither policy nor commitment.

A national review of distribution problems is yet another clear reason why the Australian film industry will benefit from the election of a Liberal/National Party Federal Government. COMMONWEALTH