Yesterday, Fairfax published a story about Journey, a telemovie produced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection at a cost of $6 million to try and deter asylum seekers from coming to Australia.
The movie – whose budget, they pointed out, eclipses the combined cost it took to make The Castle, Wolf Creek and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – screened on television in Afghanistan this weekend.
Put It Out There Pictures, a bizarre Sydney-based company that has made “hundreds of hours of television for local audiences in post-Taliban Afghanistan” produced the film for $4.34 million, and a further $1.63 million was spent on marketing.
The federal government have said that Journey is a “key part” of Australia’s anti-people smuggling strategy. Per the official description on Put It Out There’s website:
“The film [aims] to educate and inform audiences in source countries about the futility of investing in people smugglers, the perils of the trip, and the hardline policies that await them if they do reach Australian waters.”
Yikes. Journey has already screened in Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, and the government seem pretty bullish about its prospects for success, saying:
“Independent research in these countries has revealed misunderstandings and false rumours about Australia’s policy, and a perception that Australia remains a preferred destination country for those seeking to travel illegally by boat. Initial feedback from viewers has been positive.”
The film will be available in Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi, and although some sections of it are in English, surprisingly enough, there will not be an official English subtitled version available.
Trudi-Ann Tierney, the Australian director of Put It Out There Pictures, has previously worked on soap operas for Afghan television, and has literally described her past productions as “propaganda” to support the war effort.
Anyway, if you want to see a spectacularly grim movie with surprisingly high production values, and you don’t have the stomach for Batman v Superman, you can watch Journey in full below.
Here’s what $6 million of your money looks like:
Source: Fairfax / YouTube.