Monica Penders.

The Canberra-based screen industry is getting a much-needed $5 million boost from the ACT government.

Screen Canberra will administer the CBR Screen Fund, aiming to attract productions which highlight the nation’s capital and which build local capacity.

The ACT has not had a dedicated screen fund for three years so Screen Canberra had to go cap-in-hand to the government to fund individual projects.

Both series of Playmaker Media’s The Code and Matchbox Pictures’ Secret City were shot in Canberra, as were the features Galore and Joe Cinque’s Consolation.

Separately, The Furies was developed through Screen Canberra’s Accelerator Pod initiative, a collaboration with The Film Distillery and international sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment.

Writer-director Tony D’Aquino’s debut feature, a female-driven survival thriller which follows eight young women who are abducted and forced to take part in a deadly game, recently wrapped in Canberra, produced by Lisa Shaunessy with Christian Doran as line producer.

“This is a game changer for our industry. We can be strategic and are seeking to work closely with local and incoming producers to develop projects that will have a meaningful impact on the local industry,” said Screen Canberra CEO Monica Penders.

“This CBR Screen fund is the culmination of many years of close partnership with the ACT government and we are absolutely thrilled with this significant investment into the local screen industry.”

A minimum of 20 per cent of the fund will be allocated to local screen content providers. “This is very important in building local IP and capacity. We need projects that give Canberra-based crews and talent opportunity. It’s all about getting a balance between local and incoming productions,” Penders added.

The CBR Screen Fund is expected to be open for business at the end of July.

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