NSW Govt unveils $25m funding boost
By Emma Brown
The NSW government has unveiled $25 million in new support for the local screen industry in an effort to attract new production to the state.
The funding will comprise $20 million in screen incentives to attract large-scale production to NSW and $5 million for Screen NSW’s Production Investment Fund to support local productions.
It comes as the level of production in NSW remains depressed due to tough economic conditions and the high value of the Australian dollar, which has stymied the level of international productions shooting in Australia.
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally made the announcement this morning at Fox Studios with further details set to be released in the Budget.
“This $25 million will support local jobs, it will support investment in the NSW economy, and it sends a clear message that – here in NSW – we are serious about staying number one,” she said in a statement.
Warner Brothers US executive vice-president of physical production Bill Draper welcomed the news.
“This fund will put NSW in serious consideration as we scout the world for potential locations for our upcoming features,” he said in a statement.
Director George Miller, who also attended today's announcement, remains in pre-production on the latest Mad Max film, Fury Road. It is expected to employ around 540 cast and crew in NSW and film for over 30 weeks in Broken Hill. Two animated feature films, Happy Feet 2 and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, are also currently in production.
The announcement coincides with the opening of the Sydney Film Festival this evening where Australian film South Solitary will have it premiere. The festival runs till June 14.