[press release from TM Publicity]

Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts, Virginia Judge, today announced $890,000 funding for six new projects to be filmed in NSW, generating more than $13 million in direct production expenditure.

Ms Judge said since July this year, the NSW Government had invested $2.85 million to support screen productions with combined budgets of more than $47 million.

“The Rees Government proudly supports our film and television creative industries,” Ms Judge said.

“Every dollar invested in these six projects ensures that talented artists, crews and support companies such as caterers and logistics teams continue to work in NSW.

“These productions – one feature film, one TV drama series, a children’s’ television drama series, two documentaries and one factual series – will also stimulate our economy” she said.

The six projects to receive funding are:
• a new comedy series lampooning the advertising industry – 30 Seconds (Foxtel; Executive Producer, Andrew Denton)
• Lou, a feature film by writer / director Belinda Chayko, to be shot on locations in Murwillumbah and the Northern Rivers
• Art and Soul, a fascinating exploration of indigenous art led by Hetti Perkins, indigenous curator at the Art Gallery of NSW (ABC TV)
• A Pacific Solution (written and directed by renowned documentary filmmaker Tom Zubrycki for SBS Television) about a group of Islanders from Kiribati who are imported as guest workers to rural Australia
• Children’s television series, Dance Academy (ABC TV)
• Honeybee Blues, a documentary following an Australian scientist and a group of passionate beekeepers determined to save the honeybee from extinction (SBS Television)

Chief Executive of the NSW Film and Television Office, Tania Chambers said she was pleased to see such a diverse and exciting slate of productions coming out of NSW.

“Across drama and factual programs, television and features, these stories will interest and entertain audiences,” Ms Chambers said.

“It is wonderful to work with such talent.”

Ms Judge said the funding announcement followed the completion this week of filming in regional NSW and Sydney for India’s highest rating reality TV show, MTV Roadies.

“MTV India’s decision to shoot four, one-hour episodes of MTV Roadies demonstrates our State’s diverse appeal as an investment destination of choice for the creative industries,” Ms Judge said.

“MTV Roadies– Down Under showcases regional and metropolitan NSW to hundreds of millions of Indian viewers, many of whom are young, English-speaking potential travellers and overseas students.

“The series will be launched with an advertising campaign in major Indian newspapers and Indian national youth magazines featuring NSW.”

Ms Judge said that the NSW Film and Television Office (FTO), Tourism NSW and the State’s regional film offices assisted with securing NSW locations for the production and with co-ordinating elements of filming.

“MTV Roadies filmed on the Mid-North Coast at Coffs Harbour and Macksville, at Murwillumbah on the Far North Coast, Broken Hill, and in Sydney,” she said.

Australian producer Anupam Sharma, from Films and Casting Temple, said he recommended NSW locations to MTV Roadies producers after attending all five regional NSW film tours organised by the Department of State and Regional Development and Film and Television Office.

“The tours were invaluable,” Mr Sharma said.

“I was able to recommend NSW locations to the MTV Roadies Indian producers largely because I knew the infrastructure was there to support a shoot of this size.”

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