Australian Film Funding

For more than three decades, Australian film and funding has involved a combination of private investment, broadcaster/distributor involvement and the government.

To considerable extent, the policies of the government have shaped the scale and form of film funding.

Film Funding in Australia

In 1995 to 1996, there are about 25% to 30% funds for feature films in Australia both co-productions and local films have come from the sources of the government. It was mostly from Film Finance Corporation until in 2008 wherein it was merged with Film Australia and Australian Film Commission to Screen Australia. On the other hand, this collection may include several films like Happy Feet and Moulin Rouge, which are largely funded through Hollywood studios. In case of independent films in Australia, the quantity of government support is a bit higher.

For the meantime, TV drama has received half of their financing from the industry alone and there is just 15 % from the government, whereas, the foreign investment is also very important portion of the funding that have reach up to 49%.

History of Government Funding

Since the Australian film industry was born, there are several times that the government of Australia has tested quota-based models without success. This time, there is no direct financial funding for the film industry and it was less imminent. The New South Wales government offered a minor financial funding to several productions in the early 30’s.The federal government established the Australian Film Board in 1945, wherein it was able to help the industry to make documentaries. Later on it was altered to Commonwealth Film Unit to Film Australia. In the 70’s Australia has started to do feature filmmaking but didn’t receive a complete support from the government but it was funded by Australian Film Commission in 1975, which was the government state counterpart then.

Presently, the Australian Film Commission, which was once the main vehicle of the government to produce funding, is now focused on developing research and marketing activities. It is also recently proposed legislation and has united the FFC and AFC together with Film Australia as its new entity called Screen Australia.

Another current support mechanism is the Film Licensed Investment Company scheme, so every FLIC will invest in schedule of productions made in Australian, therefore spreading its portfolio. Many investors who buy shares through FLIC receives 100 percent tax concession.

State Agencies

Included in the state agencies that is equipped in funding films in Australia are The South Australian Film Corporation, Screen West (previously called as West Australian Film Corporation), Screen Queensland (previously called as Film Queensland, Television Commission and Pacific Film), New South Wales Film and Television Office and Film Victoria

The Australian Screen Production Incentive

This type of incentive was introduced in 2007 and would replace some existing schemes that are discussed above. Some of the main elements of this are producer’s offset, location offset, new post digital and visual offset


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