Coalition plans $60m film fund
By Brendan Swift
The Coalition plans to establish a $60 million temporary film fund to boost production of mid-budget features if it wins the next Federal election.
The announcement was made today at the Australian International Movie Convention and forms part of the Opposition government’s newly-unveiled arts policy, which will also provide a $24.35 million boost to the regional arts scene and loans of up to $35,000 for Australia’s young musicians.
Support for the fund, which will provide matching loans to film distributors of eligible Australian films with production budgets between $7 million and $30 million, marks a win for the Screen Producers Association of Australia, which called for a similar scheme earlier this year.
The fund will match dollar-for-dollar the investments made by distributors, providing loans of between $2 million and $10 million. The fund and the distributor will recoup their advances side-by-side, with SPAA predicting the fund will deliver up to 1100 full-time jobs and trigger production of up to 18 films worth $270 million.
The fund will invest over three years and be wound up after five years, with SPAA predicting almost three-quarters of the government's investment to be returned over seven years.
The net cost of the fund, which will be overseen by Screen Australia, is estimated to be $31.9 million by 2014.
The Coalition also said it will rejig the Producer Offset to allow interim assessments so that producers can receive the proceeds of the rebate before the end of the financial year. However, it has not outlined a mechanism to do this – the Offset legislation currently resides in the Tax Act.