As the Queensland Government pushes forward with its strategic plan to grow the screen industry in Far North Queensland, it has formally appointed Curtis Pitt as FNQ Screen Champion.
The Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Musgrave will work with Screen Queensland and key stakeholders to grow investment in the region, including jobs and production infrastructure.
Pitt will be charged with promoting opportunities, building awareness of available funding for local screen practitioners, and chairing a steering group to facilitate delivery of a $6.8 million studio – a recent election promise.
“Beyond its reputation as an agricultural hub and a tourism hotspot, Far North Queensland is increasingly recognised as an attractive destination for local and international film and television production,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“To unlock the region’s potential, in 2019 I was in Cairns with Curtis Pitt to launch the Far North Queensland Screen Strategic Plan, to boost professional capability, support local creatives and foster a positive screen culture here.
“As the new Far North Queensland Screen Champion, Curtis will help deliver on the priorities identified in the plan, as well as screen infrastructure commitments announced at the last state election, including a new $6.8 million production facility.”
Productions to recently shoot in the far north include Steve Jaggi’s Dive Club, for Network 10/Netflix, Netflix’s first Australian documentary Microworlds, and NITV’s Strait to the Plate, with ABC crime drama Troppo and Universal Studio Group/Matchbox’s Irreverent to get underway soon.
“As FNQ Screen Champion, I’ll ensure the Far North stays in the picture – renewing interest in the region by working to facilitate the delivery of new screen production facilities and maximising screen investment from Cairns to the Torres Strait.
“As Screen Champion I will also be a champion for local storytellers – including First Nations writers and directors – who are bringing stories of the Far North to screens across the world.”
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich welcomed the appointment.
“The appointment of a FNQ Screen Champion is recognition not only of the increased national and international interest in the Far North as a filming location, but also acknowledges the incredible local talent who call the region home.
“Over the years, local screen businesses like Cairns-based Lone Star Productions and BioQuest Productions have drawn upon the Far North’s natural strengths to create unforgettable projects for local and global markets.”