[Release by TM Publicity]

The New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) has unveiled its draft Strategic Plan for 2008 – 2013, positioning the organisation to stimulate creative and business opportunities in a time of unprecedented change and opportunity for the State’s screen industry.

Tania Chambers, Chief Executive of the FTO, said that FTO’s Strategic Plan will drive the organisation to be responsive to the dynamic and shifting needs of an industry where user-generated content, new digital platforms and the producer offset provide just some of the challenges and opportunities in the years ahead.

“The FTO will be a catalyst for the creation of compelling screen experiences and we will provide high quality service to screen practitioners. We view our fundamental role as investing time, energy and resources in the future of a robust, agile and varied screen industry in NSW,” Ms Chamber said.

Ms Chambers said that collaboration and new and strengthened partnerships would be a priority for the FTO and she noted the new opportunities provided by the establishment of Screen Australia, and the new campus and direction for the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

“We are also wanting to engage with other industries, other skills and new players. The FTO is moving away from being seen as a gatekeeper to public money to being a catalyst or conduit for enterprise, innovation and partnerships,” she said.
The FTO’s Strategic Plan is consistent with several priorities identified in the NSW Government State Plan, including the support of business through increased business investment, the cutting of red tape, the development of human capital through education, investment in rural and regional NSW and the building of community.

“This is an exciting period in history to be involved in creative industries and the Strategic Plan gives the FTO a clear direction for the next five years to position the screen industry as a significant contributor to our society – socially, culturally and economically,” Ms Chambers said.

Ms Chambers also outlined the FTO’s achievements over the past financial year. In 2007-2008 the FTO provided production finance of $4.8m to 29 film and television productions. These comprised of eight feature films, six television series, two telemovies and 13 factual programs. Of the combined total budgets for these projects – $102.2 million – a total of $67.52 is to be spent directly on production in NSW.

“These figures indicated that every dollar invested by the FTO leverages $14 of production expenditure in the State,” Ms Chambers said.

In the same financial year, the FTO received 124 applications for developing funding, with 48 projects successful. Six special Development Initiatives were also funded, bringing the total development funding to $782,196. Grants totalling $806,000 were made under the Industry and Audience Development program. Additional FTO programs include the Aurora feature film workshops, the Young Filmmakers Fund and the DFX trainee placement scheme.

The FTO’s Strategic Plan 2008 – 2013 has been developed in consultation with the NSW screen industry, the State Government, staff, the Board of the FTO and other stakeholders. Comment is invited by September 17, 2008 and can be sent to FTO Policy Manager Judith Bowtell. Email: bowtellj@fto.nsw.gov.au or GPO Box 1744, Sydney NSW 2001.

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