New Aussie Film ‘Terror Nullius’ Has Lost Support From Major Donors For Being “Un-Australian”
"If our film paints a less than perfect picture of Australia it’s because we think these dark political times absolutely call for it."
The creators of a bold new Australian film have slammed one of the country’s preeminent arts funding bodies after it withdrew promotional support for the movie just days before its scheduled premiere.
The Ian Potter Cultural Trust confirmed on Monday that it “does not wish to be associated with the marketing or publicity promoting” of Terror Nullius, despite the fact that the trust contributed $100,000 to the film’s production. In response the film’s creators accused the trust of liking “the idea of a politically engaged work much more than the reality of one”.
The hour-long experimental film, which remixes footage from existing Australian movies, television programs and other media, was directed by sisters Dan and Dominique Angeloro, collectively known as Soda_Jerk. The project has been billed as “equal parts political satire, eco-horror and road movie… a rogue remapping of national mythology, where a misogynistic remark is met with the sharp beak of a bird, feminist bike gangs rampage and bicentenary celebrations are ravaged by flesh-eating sheep.”
The filmmaking duo believe that the foundation pulled its support for the film because it is “not in line with their conservative political values”. They also claimed that representatives for the foundation called the movie “un-Australian”.
“If our film paints a less than perfect picture of Australia it’s because we think these dark political times absolutely call for it,” the Angeloros wrote on Facebook over the weekend.
“We’ve been deeply shaken by the Ian Potter’s response, not because they don’t share our political views but because we feel it shouldn’t matter whether they share our views or not. Surely the function of political art is not to reinforce consensus but to deliver an open invitation to further conversation.”
“Of course we remain sincerely grateful for the Ian Potter Foundation’s generous financial support which enabled us to make this film. But we really do worry about the broader implications of this decision,” the pair added. “We’ve long felt that perhaps the most insidious form of censorship is not when it’s overt but rather the kinds of immaterial cultural erasures that result from self-censorship.
“In this regard, our greatest fear over the Ian Potter’s decision is that it will have a chilling effect on what Australian artists might dare to imagine and produce, in and for the future.””
Terror Nullius will have its world premiere at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne on March 20, and will screen there until July 1.