The Australian Government held a sickening film competition for Sri Lankan filmmakers to show there is a “zero chance” of settling in Australia if a refugee comes by boat — effectively getting artists to create government propaganda for free.
The foul competition is part of an Australian government-funded campaign called “Zero Chance” which calls for amateur Sri Lankan filmmakers to “creatively express ‘illegal migration to Australia’, showcasing that there is zero chance of successfully travelling by boat to Australia”.
And what is the reward, you ask, for entering this disgusting film competition and effectively creating anti-asylum ads for free? A chance to win a camera, a drone, and a GoPro. That’s literally all our government needs to provide for free propaganda.
A professor from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, Sumathy Sivamohan, told the ABC the competition is exploitative of young filmmakers who want to make it in the industry.
“I thought the competition was horrible,” Professor Sivahoman told ABC.
“I thought this was exploiting desires of up-and-coming filmmakers in Sri Lanka trying to make it in this industry.
“I don’t think these [Australian government] programs have any impact.”
Centre director and principal solicitor at the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) Sarah Dale voiced her own concerns about about exploiting filmmakers.
“It’s ultimately going to be free messaging for the price of a drone.”
The competition closed on Friday and was apparently overwhelmed with entries, with one participant saying that people were drawn to the prospect of new cameras.
“Many participants are attracted to this competition by the Australian government because they are offering a huge amount in prizes,” Tamil filmmaker and film competition entrant Thiyaharasa Kukeenthan said.
If you thought this couldn’t get any more deplorable, you’d be wrong.
According to the ABC, the government’s “Zero Chance” campaign also features games that simulate a boat journey to Australia where you have to make decisions and try and survive — except, it’s rigged to fail, with the only outcomes being “You get banned from Australia for life”, “You get caught by Border Patrol” and “You get tricked by people smugglers”.
“I couldn’t believe that we would belittle people seeking asylum like this,” Dale said, per ABC.
“I couldn’t believe that we would turn that horror into something so light as a game.
“I’m shocked and disgusted that we would convert a person’s journey seeking safety into something as nonsense as the Pac-Man game.”
At this point this all just feels comically evil — except this isn’t a cartoon, it’s real life, and asylum seekers are real people escaping real persecution.
They’re not “illegal immigrants” as our government claims, because asylum seeking isn’t illegal. It’s a human right under international law. But of course, since when has the Australian government ever given a fuck about doing what’s actually right?