Did ABC hold back documentary about Uighur leader to help get Australia Network into China?

Posted: 09 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"The producer of a controversial documentary about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer says the ABC told him it decided against screening the film last December because it wanted 'things to settle down a bit'. ABC News Online has obtained an email from an ABC television executive to the film's producer John Lewis, which suggests that a screening date was scheduled, but then dropped. The documentary, the 10 Conditions of Love, was at the centre of a row last year after Chinese officials tried to get it pulled from the Melbourne film festival. ... When asked today on Radio National if the documentary was on December 17, [ABC MD Mark] Scott said it had not. 'It was never locked in for December 17 I'm told, and we will be showing it this year,' he said. But Mr Lewis strongly rejects Mr Scott's denial, saying he had numerous conversations both over the phone and through email with the ABC about it late last year. ... The ABC wants to expand its international television service, Australia Network, into China." Emma Rodgers, ABC News, 9 February 2010. See previous post about same subject.
     "Lewis says the film’s distributor, London-based TVF International, has been unable to sell the film anywhere in the world, and despite the positive feedback and interest, broadcasters in Japan, South Korea and Canada have declined. 'They tell me straight up that broadcasters are afraid of China, because they want to do business and international co-productions and are afraid to offend them. Every time they put it to their broadcasting clients, the enquiries go directly to the head office, not where they’re normally handled, and that’s the last they hear of it.'" Encore Magazine (Adelaide), 9 February 2010.