$4.1m telemovie to dissuade asylum seekers will air this year
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A $4.1 million telemovie, commissioned by the Federal Government and the Customs and Border Security Agency, will air in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan later this year. The telemovie has been designed to dissuade asylum seekers in these countries from coming to Australia by boat. It is believed that the project will include real storylines about asylum seekers drowning at sea and will also feature the Australian Navy. The telemovie will aim to convey the governments’ message that asylum seekers should avoid people smugglers and wait to be processed.

Sydney production company, Put It Out There Pictures, has the contract for the drama while filmmaker, and self-described “propaganda merchant”, Trudi-Ann Tierney will be in charge of the project. Ms Tierney has previously worked on an anti-terrorist show called Eagle Four which aired in Afghanistan and was largely funded by the US Embassy in Kabul. Ms Tierney believes that the asylum seeker telemovie can “save people from detention, disappointment and even death”.

The Refugee Council of Australia has condemned the movie. President of the council, Phil Glendenning, questioned the movie saying that “I don’t think the government understands why people are on the move if they think a TV drama will be a deterrent”. Also opposed to the project was Greens Immigration spokeswoman Senator Hanson-Young who said that “with the brutal conflicts in Syria and Iraq the only message we are sending refugee families caught up in the violence is ‘bugger off, Australia does not care about your suffering’,”.

Last modified on Friday, 17 April 2015 11:26

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