Who Wants To Be A Terrorist

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Who Wants To Be A Terrorist


Independent film-makers The Picture Tank are trying to change the landscape of the Australian film industry. After being denied even a single cent from the Australian film bodies to go toward their next controversial film , Who Wants To Be A Terrorist , they are turning to their audience to help fund the marketing and release of the film.

After the release of their 2007 film The Jammed, which was denied support and had to be privately financed, producer Andrea Buck and director Dee McLachlan of The Picture Tank reached critical and commercial success after the single screen the film started on at Nova grew to include 42 screens in total and broke box office records. It became the highest screen-earning average for an independent movie ever to go out in Australia, followed by Murial’s Wedding. It picked up three Inside Film awards and 7 AFI nominations. Elite critics, including David Strattan of David And Margaret fame considered it the best Australian film of the year.

Buck says, “Everyone kind of assumed we’d have our next film financed for sure. You don’t assume when you’re a high level film-maker [who has] won awards and [whose] last film was a major success critically and financially that nothing will be available to you.”

Despite the success of The Jammed, they are facing the same funding issue with their next release Who Wants To Be A Terrorist, a satirical comedy that examines our society’s obsession with reality television and merges it with our obsession with terrorism. “Reality TV is a pop culture addiction to the lowest denominator, yet people seem to be completely drawn to it. It seems to be getting more extreme in order to pull those audiences in and it’s an undiscerning consumption. So we put these two ideas together – our complete obsession with reality TV and our obsessive fear of terrorism,” explains Buck.

The film, which was shot over a mere eight days with only four cameras is ready for release but has been knocked back from various funding bodies with no explanation. “Is it that people are afraid of it and that the government will not finance a film called Who Wants To Be A Terrorist?” Buck questions. “Unfortunately there is no real way to know.” It certainly seems to be a touchy word in our current political climate. Their original Facebook page was pulled down within 24 hours, but now a rebuilt page with #errorist instead of terrorist has been in place for over three weeks.

The film is ready for release but without the support from the Australian film bodies, there is a massive obstruction in marketing it to the public. “There’s a road block somewhere in the system because Australian music is so ripe,” McLachlan says. “Television is doing well, but when it comes to feature films Australia is still suffering. What it’s demonstrating is that people who are distributing and selecting the projects are not on the button.

“The only thing sitting between us and getting this film into the world is money,” Buck adds, “and if you don’t ask you don’t get. So we’re giving it a go. It’s crazy that there are these bodies run by a few middle aged, fairly traditional people who get to determine what we see, so it’s really exciting that in this new digital age there are ways that you can get directly to audiences.”

The method in question is Pozible, Australia’s only crowd funding arts vehicle which lets supporters pool their money via the internet in order to support the efforts of creative projects and ideas. The Picture Tank have uploaded their cause on to the site and are hoping to eventually raise $200,000 to market the film.

To kick-start this online fundraiser, a launch party is being held at Revolt art space in Kensington this Friday June 10, featuring live music from Dead King’s Quartet, The Twoks, Shades Of Mary and Sarah Carnegie. There will also be screenings of clips from the movie, mingling with the cast and crew and an open audition ‘talent quest’ to be on Season Two of Who Wants To Be A Terrorist with the best audition winner receiving a prize of dinner for two at Claypots and their audition on the website.