South Australian companies KOJO Studios and Closer Productions are poised to grow after being selected for the first round of the South Australian Film Corporation’s Screen Business Accelerator Program (SBAP).
The two companies will receive business loans of up to $200,000 per year for up to two years under the program, designed to support the growth of established South Australian screen businesses.
The funding can be used for slate funding, business capability, financial planning, engagement and retention of personnel, research and development, marketing, innovation and more.
The announcement comes after the SAFC launched the Screen Business Planning and Mentoring Program last year, with KOJO and Closer among the six SA screen companies chosen to receive specialised business training and up to $5,000 for business mentoring.
At the conclusion of the program, the companies were eligible to apply for the SBAP.
In recent years, KOJO Studios has helped deliver projects such as First Day, Top End Wedding and 2067.
Executive producer Linda Üjuk said the SBAP funding would go a long way to progressing the company’s vision.
“This program is critical in accelerating our ambitious goal to become South Australia’s first fully independent and female-led self-financing studio, that unapologetically prioritises ingenuity, fearlessness, agency, and authorship of diverse voices in storytelling,” she said.
Her sentiments were echoed by producer Kate Butler, who said the funds were a “vital” boost for KOJO Studios.
“Linda and I are proud to lead KOJO Studios,” she said.
“We’re thrilled to be playing our role in the collective growth of the South Australian creative sector.”
Closer Productions projects include TV series Aftertaste and The Hunting; web projects Are You Addicted to Technology and F*!#ing Adelaide; and features Animals, 52 Tuesdays, Sam Klemke’s Time Machine and Shut Up Little Man.
The company said the funds would increase its capacity to produce “contemporary content with creative ambition, relevance, and scale” in South Australia.
“We are excited to forge new international partnerships and to continue our successful collaborations with talented local screen businesses, cast, crew, and creatives and to foster opportunities for diverse voices and build pathways for new talent,” it said.
SAFC CEO Kate Croser said the SBAP was part of SAFC’s commitment to enabling entrepreneurship in SA screen businesses, and supporting them to increase inward investment and export revenue.
“The Screen Business Accelerator Program is an important part of the SAFC’s strategy to support established and prolific screen businesses like KOJO Studios and Closer Productions innovate, grow and expand in a way that delivers success with positive flow-on effects across the whole the sector,” she said.
“I congratulate both companies on being selected for this significant investment, which will set them on a path for growth and enable more production of quality South Australian screen content.”
Find more information about the SABP here.