Written by Tom Deehan on Jul 20, 2017. Posted in General Interest / Incentive News

Entry-level productions losing out due to Screen Australia funding cuts

As part of a Government-led inquiry into the current growth and sustainability of Australia’s production industry, the heads at Screen Australia have detailed how funding cuts have negatively affected the country’s domestic output.

Sydney, Australia, Locations, News, Production, Industry, Film, Filming, TV, Commercials, Tax, IncentiveScreen Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Fiona Cameron explains: “Screen Australia is working at the very top end and that means that a lot of entry-level filmmakers do get turned away. We have had to get out of the entry-level film market as a result of funding cuts. The state governments typically work in that area and we work in the area over and above that.”

She continues: “we are still developing and producing small projects whether they are documentaries or online, because that is where the next generation of talent lies.”

Screen Australia CEO, Graeme Mason was asked about the idea of applying local content quotas to streaming services such as Netflix. Mason responded by saying that at the current time, the country is without a “level playing field” for local creatives.

The increased difficult for independent and entry-level filmmakers has arisen due to a decrease in Screen Australia’s funding over the last seven years, from AUD110 million to AUD81 million. Over the same period, the agency’s overhead and staffing were cut by 52% and 48% respectively.

The parliamentary inquiry was launched to find ways in which the Australian production industry can become more competitive on the global market.

In recent years, Australia has become synonymous with hosting big budget feature films such as Aquaman and Thor: Ragnarok, both of which have been handed bespoke incentive packages.

Australia currently provides a tax offset of 16.5% for international productions that spend AUD15 million within the country, while local features and TV shows can receive tax rebates of 40% and 20% respectively.


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