Screen Aus invests another $3m in local production companies

13 October, 2011 by Brendan Swift

Screen Australia has invested $3 million across four screen production companies in an effort to bolster their long-term sustainability.

The funding was made through the government agency's Enterprise program and awarded to: Chocolate Liberation Front (Dan Fill, Frank Verheggen)
December Media (Tony Wright); Madman Productions (Paul Wiegard, Tim Anderson, Nick Batzias); and The Project Factory (Guy Gadney, Jennifer Wilson).


“The companies approved in the third round of Screen Australia’s Enterprise program will be enabled to develop quality slates of programs triggering more local production,” said Screen Australia chief executive Ruth Harley said in a statement.

“The successful proposals demonstrate a clear vision for building capacity, attracting independent production finance and achieving sustainability. All of the companies have strong international alliances with several intending to support their own growth plans by matching Enterprise program funds from their own sources.”

The scheme, which was first launched in 2009 to bolster the growth and sustainability of local production companies, has previously provided almost $12 million to 17 companies.

The latest four companies work across features, television, documentary and multi-platform digital content.

Chocolate Liberation Front (CLF) plans to fast-track the development of television, online and games properties, as well as its own original content. The company is also partnering with animators Luke Jurevicius (creator of Figaro Pho) and Deane Taylor to co-develop original projects. It plans to use its Enterprise funding to appoint a business development consultant, set up an in-house business affairs unit and explore emerging international markets.

The Project Factory, which is also a digital specialist, plans to use its funding to move from a developer/producer model to producer/publisher of content on digital platforms.

Madman Productions plans to build on its successful distribution arm, Madman Entertainment, and diversify into feature and television production. It will partner with established industry players to identify new and emerging talent.

December Media (previously December Films) has produced documentaries and now plans to produce television series drama and science-based 3D IMAX productions. Enterprise funding will be used to create new positions, a non-executive board and expand its marketing efforts.

The companies were selected from 41 applications requesting a total of $31.7 million – more than ten times the $3 million on offer.

The selection panel included international screen business development consultants Jonathan Olsberg and Christina Willoughby, Screen Australia’s senior manager, state and industry partnerships, Chris Oliver, enterprise manager Megan McMurchy, and Ruth Harley.

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