Screen Aus to provide another $3m enterprise funding; releases positive survey

22 June, 2011 by Brendan Swift

Screen Australia will provide up to $3 million in enterprise funding to selected production companies following a positive survey of the initial program recipients.

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


The government agency recently completed a survey of the 12 companies initially funded with $9 million over three years. It found that in 2009-10: company revenues increased by an average of 12 per cent; royalties increased by an average of 9 per cent; income from distribution increased by an average of 17 per cent; and almost half of the companies generated new revenue streams.

Data about company profits was not released.

The original recipients were: Cordell Jigwsaw Productions ($1 million); Essential Media & Entertainment ($1 million); Hoodlum ($1 million); Hopscotch Features ($1 million); Goalpost Pictures Australia ($750,000); Matchbox Pictures ($750,000); Waking Dream Productions ($750,000); Renegade Films ($700,000); Roar Film ($600,000); Scarlett Pictures ($600,000); Prospero Productions ($500,000); Warp Films Australia ($400,000).

Screen Australia’s chief executive Ruth Harley said early results achieved through the Enterprise Program were extremely positive and suggested that companies are shaping up for long-term sustainability.

“Enhanced capacity through enterprise funding has enabled company producers to recruit key creative and managerial personnel to oversee development and production,” Harley said in a statement.

“As a result, projects in development have accelerated, particularly in the factual area with six of the 12 first-round companies reporting a total of 115 projects in development in 2009-10. This is anticipated to flow through to increased production levels.”

She said the enterprise funding recipients are building alliances with complementary domestic production companies and international partners, attracting private investment, developing new revenue streams and demonstrating innovation in the online environment.

Three of the first-round companies have succeeded in raising well over $1 million dollars of private investment from local sources, Screen Australia said.

Three of the enterprise recipients have completed recent international deals: Matchbox Pictures sold a majority stake in its business to NBCUniversal International; Hopscotch Features signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures International; and Playmaker Media inked a first-look and overhead deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises.

Playmaker Media was among Screen Australia's second round enterprise funding recipients last year, which also included: Wild Fury ($750,000); Electric Pictures ($650,000); Blackfella Films ($583,000); and Great Wight Productions ($443,000). Playmaker received $600,000. 

Applications for the next round of funding close on August 8 and can be made here. The successful applications will be announced following Screen Australia’s October board meeting.