Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason has issued a statement on COVID-19, republished below:
The Australian screen sector is resilient, but there is no denying COVID-19 presents a unique challenge to us all.
As you would appreciate the situation is evolving, but I wanted to give you a brief update:
- On Monday 16 March, Screen Australia and all state and territory screen agencies had a teleconference specifically focused on the impact of COVID-19. On that call, each party gave an update on their constituency. These special teleconferences will now occur regularly to ensure information is being shared effectively.
- Screen Australia continues to process funding applications as usual, with one minor exception – we will not be funding applicants to attend overseas festivals/markets/workshops until the Government’s broader travel advice changes (see Smart Traveller for more). The Talent USA: New York and Bunya Talent Indigenous Hub contingents will be rescheduled.
- Screen Australia’s incoming funding application volume has not noticeably changed at present, but if we do notice e.g. a slowing in production funding applications, we will divert funds to other programs such as development, to ensure the sector is still being supported to the same level.
- Applications to the Australian Screen Production Incentives are being processed as usual, including the Producer Offset (administered by Screen Australia) and the Location Offset and PDV Offsets (administered by the Office for the Arts).
- Any Screen Australia-funded production that is experiencing delays should reach out to their Investment Manager, or call 1800 213 099 or email [email protected] to be directed to the appropriate contact. We will of course be flexible wherever possible to support your production.
As with all Australians, it is important to stay up to date with both the latest health advice (see the Department of Health website) and the economic advice and support from Federal Government (see The Treasury website). If you are struggling with your mental health at this time, the Head to Health website offers a directory of websites.
For the screen sector, please ensure you receive both your home state/territory’s newsletter as well as Screen Australia’s fortnightly newsletter for any further updates.
The Australian screen sector is over 100 years old, and has weathered innumerable challenges in that time. COVID-19 has hit some screen businesses harder than others, and although we hope a recovery is in sight for the global industry, it will not be immediate. As such, at Screen Australia, we are focusing on ensuring funding continues to be injected into the sector as normal, and we will be ready to adapt when the sector moves into recovery mode.
If you have any questions, please reach out [email protected].
CEO, Screen Australia