Press release from Victorian Coalition Government

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced funding of $240,000 for screen resource organisation Open Channel to service early-career and aspiring Victorian screen practitioners in 2012.

Open Channel supports a diverse and innovative screen industry by providing training and professional development, production initiatives and production support.

Ms Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government was supporting the provision of training opportunities for the next generation of screen practitioners to ensure a strong and sustainable screen industry.

“It is important that we maintain our reputation as a highly-skilled, versatile and innovative screen industry,” Ms Asher said.

“As a key provider of practical training, up-skilling and production support, Open Channel is an important component in Victoria’s screen industry.

“This support, in addition to the $50,000 grant provided by the Victorian Coalition Government for an equipment upgrade in 2011, puts Open Channel in a solid position to deliver productive programs with strong outcomes.

“The Coalition Government recognises and understands the importance of ensuring our young screen practitioners have access to the appropriate training and opportunities to up-skill, which is why we are supporting Open Channel.”

The funding package, to be delivered by Film Victoria, comprises organisational funding plus support to deliver targeted events and initiatives for entry-level practitioners.

Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi said she was very pleased to offer this level of support to Open Channel in 2012.

“Open Channel’s suite of programs in 2011 was a resounding success, and we’re confident the programs they will offer this year will expand on this success,” Ms Tosi said.

“Importantly, Open Channel has identified two activity focus areas for 2012 – regional and Indigenous development.

“Several of Open Channel’s programs and initiatives this year will provide points of entry and up-skilling opportunities for Victoria’s practitioners from Indigenous communities, as well as aspiring practitioners from regional communities seeking to enter the screen industry.”

Open Channel Executive Director Jennie Hughes said the Melbourne-based organisation was in a unique position to service the emerging sector across metropolitan and regional Victoria.

“Last year we took our programs into regional Victoria with great success. Our 2012 programs will continue to focus on providing quality training and production opportunities that provide pathways to industry,” Ms Hughes said.

“This funding will go a long way to ensuring we can continue to deliver high-quality services to Victoria’s screen industry.”