Jonathan Sequeira’s raw and stunning documentary, "Descent Into The Maelstrom - The Radio Birdman Story", has been snubbed by Australia's national public broadcaster the ABC.
Released as a short-run feature in Australian cinemas and shown at film festivals and limited screenings in the USA, Japan, the UK and Europe, “Descent” will be released via DVD and streaming in September this year to coincide with a Radio Birdman tourof Australia and Europe.
The taxpayer-funded ABC was offered a deep discount to screen it on Australian free-to-air TV but has declined, after months of dithering and silence.
In an online statement published overnight, filmmaker Jonathan Sequeira said:
Regardless of my involvement, it is a tragedy that the ABC will not be broadcasting the largely unknown story of the most important band in Australia’s music history. I consider that to be letting down the Australian public, and a failure of the ABC to follow its charter.
Radio Birdman has also issued an online statement overnight:
Considering the highly relevant content of the film, from the perspective of Australian music history, ABC was the obvious choice of channel…The band is disappointed but not really surprised. We have been familiar with this sort of attitude from the establishment since the 1970's.
Curiously, ABC has screened documetaries about the Saints and the Go Betweens, as well as series of programs based on its own "Countdown" franchise.
You can make your opinion known by contacting ABC-1 Channel Manager Natalie Edgar via abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm