NSW Govt risks annoying US conservatives by subsidising Redford-Blanchett film – my comments on Breitbart

I’ve been quoted by Breitbart regarding NSW Government funding provided to the Truth film, starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, which filmed in Sydney last year:

Hollywood to Release Film Defending Dan Rather in Wake of Brian Williams Stolen Valor Lies

The film covers Rathergate, in which veteran US broadcaster Dan Rather made accusations regarding former President George W Bush’s military record based on apparently forged documents. I’m not an expert on Rathergate, and have no wish to get involved in the debate, but I’m happy to say there is no defensible reason for the NSW Government to provide financial support to the film. Here are the relevant paragraphs from the Breitbart article:

In an odd twist, Australian taxpayers are subsidizing this bit of far-left propaganda, starring Robert Redford as Rather and Australian Cate Blanchett as Mapes, which was filmed over a two month period this past fall on location in Sydney at an estimated cost of $10 million. While officials at the New South Wales film development group acknowledge the film is receiving financial support from the government there, they won’t say how much.

But Gene Tunny, a former manager in the Australian Treasury with extensive experience in advising on industry assistance policies across Australia, and a well known critic of the country’s film subsidization policy, told Breitbart News the amount probably exceeded $1 million.

“My best guess is that the NSW Government is subsidising Truth by around $1-2 million, based on my experience in advising on government industry assistance across Australia,” Tunny told Breitbart News.

“It could be more than this, but the NSW Government won’t tell us. Australian State governments label agreements with film producers ‘commercial-in-confidence’, even though disclosure is in the public interest,” Tunny added…

…“This is clearly a poor use of taxpayers’ money. The Truth film will make no discernible contribution to Australian culture. And the NSW Government is wasting money supporting temporary jobs in an industry that is largely unviable without Government subsidies,” Tunny told Breitbart News.

My previous comments on government assistance to the film industry include:

Drum opinion piece – Taxpayer money wasted chasing film productions

Moochers making movies

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