Director Who Wrote Homophobic Rant “Unresigns” As Head Of Melbourne Underground Film Festival
"I can be as racist, homophobic, psychopathic as I wish to be."
The man who faced calls to resign as director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) after an online rant has declared that he has “unresigned” ahead of the event’s 19th year.
Last year Richard Wolstencroft generated controversy when he published a public Facebook post that decried the marriage equality postal vote as a “black day” in history.
“The Australian public really was fooled, bullied and cajoled in to this decision ruthlessly by the Government and Media Elite,” the post read. “This is the beginning of the End of our Great Country. – unless we fight back. This is a horrible black day of infamy.”
The post spurred many in the Melbourne independent film community to boycott the festival. Wolstencroft later apologised.
In an interview on the Meat Bone Express podcast earlier in the week, Wolstencroft walked back from earlier suggestions that he would step down as director of the film festival.
“I run the festival. How am I going to be pushed from a festival that I run?” He said when asked whether organisers around him tried to remove him from the MUFF leadership.
While he did consider resigning, Wolstencroft ultimately decided to make the film festival a “free speech” haven.
“I decided to make the film festival a radical free speech event. I can say anything I want. I can be as racist, homophobic, psychopathic as I wish to be,” he said. “I’m tired of political correctness.”
IMPORTANT – FILM FRIENDS PLS READ. This post was made by the founder and festival director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. After reading this, I will, of course, no longer be supporting MUFF. I strongly encourage all of you to join me. Please spread the word. pic.twitter.com/KHYZouJgRh
— Alanah Parkin :rainbow-flag: (@AlanahParkin) November 16, 2017
When asked by Junkee whether he was afraid that filmgoers would boycott MUFF, Wolstencroft said he wasn’t fussed.
“This whole atmosphere of left PC SJW thought policing is most unhealthy and totalitarian,” he said. “If people do not like or approve of this, please do not enter or attend — we don’t want you.”
“MUFF is going to continue with me as festival director — my apology stands as the comment was unwise,” he continued. “The controversy has caused a flood of MUFF entries — it’s our biggest year for entries so far, by far.”
According to its website, MUFF aims to “continue our one eyed Nationalist policy of supporting and fostering Independent, guerilla, micro budget and underground Local and International Cinema here Down Under” in 2018.
In the same podcast interview from earlier in the week, Wolstencroft criticised select mainstream films, calling 2016 drama Lion “condescending bullshit” and The Dressmaker a film “all about hating men”.
Last year, Wolstencroft programmed Vaxxed (an anti-vaccination film) and The Red Pill (an anti-feminism film) in MUFF. In 2003, he screened a film about David Irving, a holocaust denier.
In 2010, Wolstencroft’s home was raided by Victoria Police after he revealed he would screen banned film L.A. Zombie, a horror/porno/zombie flick. Despite the raid, MUFF aired the film in front of a crowd of 200 people.