Australian Directors Guild calls on Australian Government to step in and stop FIFO directors

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KA.jpgAs reported in The Australian today the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) has called on the Australian Government to step in and restrict foreign directors being brought in to direct Australian companies advertisements and in order to protect Australian directors.

Historically, Australian directors like Fred Schepisi, Ray Lawrence, Kriv Stenders and Garth Davis have been able to develop their directing skills and capabilities by filming advertisements for Australian companies.

Many major Australian companies have opted for foreign directors rather than using home grown talent. These companies include: Woolworths, NAB, Meat & Livestock Australia, ALDI, Target, Kmart, AGL, BUPA, Origin Energy, Energy Australia, NRMA, GIO, Holden and Ford.

Says Kingston Anderson (above), chief executive, Australian Directors Guild: "It started a few years ago only with some of the really big ad campaigns. But now, it is increasingly across the board.
"In recent times, some Australian companies and their advertising agencies are importing "fly in, fly out" foreign directors to make their key ad campaigns. Unlike the USA and UK there are simply no barriers to entry for foreign directors wanting to fly in, shoot an Australian job, then fly out. And this loophole is being exploited."

The ADG estimates that up to 40 per cent of big budget local commercial campaigns of $1 million-plus are being directed by foreigners.

Says Anderson: "It is not a level playing field. And it will have major economic and cultural impact."

Australia has an entertainment visa regime for foreign directors and other talent that requires there be a "net" employment benefit to the local entertainment industry. But the problem, according to Anderson, is that the test is not being enforced by the Department of Immigration and Border Patrol, particularly when it concerns directors of commercials.

Says Anderson: "Despite the Directors Guild's objections, each and every visa application on behalf of a foreign director that the ADG is aware of has been successful."

The Guild has requested urgent action by the Australian Government to address this loophole in the system.


Really said:

You can't be serious? You want the government to tell companies who they can and can't hire to do a job? Sounds like a couple of other countries to our far north.

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