By Adam Coleman

Screen Australia has denied funding to the upcoming television adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel Cloudstreet due to concerns over the level of licence fees paid by pay-TV channels to Australian drama projects.

The $10 million miniseries is understood to be one of up to 10 projects denied at last week’s SA board meeting The Australian has reported.

Screen Australia reportedly told pay-TV network Showtime it would need to reassess its financing structure to get any federal funding.

It was suggested Screen Australia has concerns at the low level of licence fee Showtime is expected to pay for the mini-series.

Screentime plans to have Cloudstreet in production in late 2009/early 2010 with a script by Tim Winton and Ellen Fontana. A premiere is also slated for 2011 on Showcase, part of the Showtime package on Foxtel and Austar.

First published in 1991, the novel Cloudstreet was the winner of three major literary awards – the NBC Banjo Award for Fiction, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Miles Franklin Award. It has been published in eleven countries.

A Screen Australia spokesperson told INSIDEFILM, "We do not comment on projects which have applied for Screen Australia support or are put up to the Board due to commercial in confidence [sic]." 

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