Screen Australia unveils marketing plans
By Brendan Swift
Screen Australia has boosted its marketing budget by more than one-third this financial year in an effort to promote Australian screen content.
The increase across all marketing and related programs to $8.4 million from $6.2 million will bolster several new schemes, including a theatrical P&A fund, innovative distribution grants, a market escalator scheme to fund marketing-oriented events, screen awards funding, and film festival funding.
While Australian films have attracted significant critical praise this year, audience numbers have remained low, with most local fare shown on 15 to 25 screens and supported by minimal marketing. Local films released this year have taken less than $8 million at the box office but cost almost $50 million to produce, according to MPDAA data.
“We want to grow demand for Australian content across all platforms, and have increased the budget for marketing and associated programs by $2 million in 2009-10 to assist Australian productions in reaching wider audiences,” Screen Australia boss Ruth Harley said in a statement.
“Our new marketing programs provide the resources and skills to help get projects onto the screen and in front of audiences. We’ve also focused our screen culture programs towards our ultimate aim of engaging audiences with Australian content.”
The new marketing schemes will be underpinned by the government agency’s new ‘quarantined marketing budget’ requirement, which will force all Screen Australia-backed productions to include funds for marketing and promotional materials.
Screen Australia has also enhanced its international travel grant program, expanding the range of eligible festival and markets and including project development workshops and digital media events. The agency is also working with state bodies to streamline administration and improve support.