SPAA’s Feature Film Strand announced

26 October, 2010 by IF

Press release from SPAA

As part of this year’s Conference program, the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) will present a Feature Film Strand that acknowledges the importance of strategic partnerships and outlines the latest changes in the financing and distribution environment. It will also interrogate the question of whether the Producer Offset is being used successfully.


Australia's most entrepreneurial producers, who are not afraid to tell their own stories, have been chosen, quite deliberately, to occupy centre stage.
The Feature Film Strand comprises six sessions:

  • DEVELOPMENT: The devil’s in the detail is a discussion of this often exhausting process and how producers pick and mix their way through all the solutions on offer. Three producers with wide-ranging experience of development methods will examine the creative issues they have faced and the pathways and strategies employed. Speakers include: Producers Robyn Kershaw, David Rapsey and Ross Grayson Bell.
  • 3D PRODUCTION: Triple the fun or double the headache? Avatar excited the masses immensely in 2009 and box office records tumbled. Contributing hugely to all the excitement was the buzz around 3D and the way this new technology enhanced the visual experience. But how relevant is 3D to Australian production? What factors are determining which Australian films are being made in 3D? What suits and what doesn’t suit 3D? Is there a niche that this country could carve out for itself? And once the decision is made to go down the 3D route, what are the implications? Technical gurus and producers who have cut their teeth on 3D will discuss the pros and cons.
  • FINANCING: As Frank Sinatra sang, I did it my way. Fitting all the pieces together and getting a green light for a feature film requires skill, a network of contacts and chutzpah. The challenge is even greater when it is a complicated co-production, a movie of scale that requires more money than usual or a picture that is not underpinned by the taxpayer. Jonathan Shteinman and Chris Brown will reveal how they planned each careful step along the byway.
  • CO-PRODUCTION: Single Aussie producer seeks European partner for genuine relationship. Enjoys films, travel, paperwork. Flirtatious, but looking for a soul mate. Loves sharing stories, discovering exotic places, meeting new people. Attractive. Good with money. Just how sexy do we really look to the Europeans? Is dangling the 40% Producer Offset bait enough to entice them into a co-production? A marriage made in heaven or a marriage of convenience that could turn into an expensive, heart-breaking nightmare?
  • SALES AGENTS: It takes two to tango. Filmmaking, by definition, is a collaborative venture. To maximise a film’s commercial success, producers and sales agents also have to dance well together. This can only happen if the partners understand each other and have a rapport. Speakers include Hilary Davis, Richard Guardian, Marian Macgowan, David Redman and Jim Reeves.
  • DISTRIBUTION: I love the smell of popcorn in the morning. For many independent films worldwide, getting into mainstream cinemas and holding their own is a victory. Mike Baard, Universal Pictures Australasia, Stephen Basil-Jones, Sony Pictures Australia, and Mike Selwyn, Paramount Australia, will reveal who makes the decisions about picking up local films and how they approach marketing and promotion, and their work with exhibitors.

“Underlying each and every session is the question: Is the Producer Offset working?," says SPAA executive director Geoff Brown.

"The global financial crisis notwithstanding, Australia is in a stronger position than many other territories to boost film activity levels, be more sustainable and lift its commercial and critical hit rate. One of the key reasons is the existence of the 40% Producer Offset because it is a guaranteed slice of the finance and, in theory at least, is the producers’ own equity. SPAA encourages conference delegates to believe that anything is possible.”

The SPAA Conference attracts over 700 industry representatives and key decision makers including producers, directors, distributors, financiers, exhibitors, television network heads, commissioning editors, lawyers and accountants. Of these, there is a sizable international contingent from leading media organisations around the world.

SPAA Conference, 16 – 19 November 2010, The Hilton, Sydney

Check out INSIDEFILM'S SPAA Preview in the November issue.