SAFC awards producers $435K
By Brendan Swift
The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) has awarded 11 local producers $435,000 to build sustainable businesses.
The funding, via the Producer Business Development (PBD) initiative, aims to stimulate local feature film, television drama, documentary and digital media production.
SAFC chief executive Richard Harris said the SAFC has significantly increased the level of funding through the program "to recognise the importance of building the critical mass of viable production companies in South Australia at what is a defining moment in our cinematic history".
"With the new Adelaide Film and Screen Centre coming online in 2011 it is crucial that we continue to build the local creative and producing base in this state," he said in a statement.
In a separate program last year, another local production house, Adelaide Motion Picture Company Films (AMPCO), was awarded $500,000 under the agency's Enterprise Development Program. It forms part of an industry-wide push to empower producers following Screen Australia's own enterprise program, which resulted in $9 million awarded to 12 companies last year.
The 11 SA production houses awarded through the PBD program are: Murali K Thurali & Directors (M2 Entertainment); Louise Pascale and Chris Houghton (Pop Pictures); David Ngo, Daniel Joyce and Anna Westley (Projector); Julia de Roeper (JDR Screen); Peta Astbury (For Pete’s Sake Productions); Quentin Kenihan (Q Productions); Sophie Hyde (Closer Productions); Kristian Moliere (Smoking Gun Productions); Lindy Taylor (The Snowglobe Factory); Vicki Sugars and Julie Byrne (Velvet Orange); and Jennifer Jones (Corridor Films).
They will each receive between $20,000 and $50,000.
The applications were assessed on: the viability of the company's business plan and budget, successfully demonstrating how the funds would be used to progress the producer’s slate of projects, as well as the producer’s creative and business relationships.
The SAFC panel assessing the applications was comprised of SAFC head of industry development & production, Defrim Isai; Innovate SA business advisor Susan Andrews; and McLachlan Hodge Mitchell corporate finance division manager, Dominic Burman.
Isai said it is good to see SA producers maturing and developing long-term business plans rather than focusing solely on their immediate slate of projects.
"It is also encouraging to see how diverse the applications were and how many of these businesses are new to mid-range practitioners, whom we hope will build on the great legacy of, not to mention partner with, the well credentialed production companies that already exist in this state," he said in a statement.