Polson rejects plagiarism charges
Tropfest to stand by festival winner
We hope you had a great night at Sony Tropfest 2007!
Some of you may know that last week the Sydney Morning Herald published a number of stories relating to the Sony Tropfest 2007 winner, "An Imaginary Life". The newspaper suggested that Steve Baker's winning film may have plagiarized a US television show. Most of what was written was unfounded, misleading and very upsetting - not just to the filmmaker, Steve Baker, but to us at Sony Tropfest.
Most surprisingly, the Sydney Morning Herald chose to doctor images of the two characters in question to make them look much more similar than they actually are. Specifically, they removed the legs from Steve Baker's character and elongated its body so that it looked more like the other (above are the actual undoctored images of these two characters side by side).
Unsurprisingly, the journalist who "broke" the story told me himself he had never seen an episode of the TV show. When I suggested the responsible thing to do, before writing the story, would be to take a look at the show, he told me: "I have to file by seven." Our subsequent request to the Sydney Morning Herald to publish a correction regarding doctoring the image has also been met with silence.
I wanted to put on the record that we, at Sony Tropfest, stand by Steve Baker's win. Our panel of judges watched all the films on the night and "An Imaginary Life" came out on top. At this stage, nothing concrete has been presented to us suggesting that Steve took his idea from anywhere outside of his own inspiration.
Although one Sydney Morning Herald story claimed the owners of the television show were "looking into the matter," neither we nor Steve Baker have been contacted by them. Until such time that there is any evidence that this film is in breach of copyright or other laws, we will continue to stand by Steve Baker and his film.
Again, thanks for supporting us at the festival. We look forward to seeing you again next year!"
Festival Founder/Creative Director