State screen agencies are taking a number of initiatives to help producers whose projects have been suspended or delayed.

Head of Screen NSW Grainne Brunsdon tells IF: “For those productions that now have delays, either short or longer term, we will work with them and with other screen agencies and broadcasters to do what we can to assist.

“Where delivery dates are pushed out, we will vary contracts and where cash-flow milestones are missed, we will work with productions to renegotiate them.”

Screen Queensland has convened a Queensland screen industry task force to provide feedback on the challenges facing the industry and is undertaking a quick survey asking industry practitioners and local businesses to share their experiences of the impact from COVID-19 and offer suggestions on assistance.

“Together with your input and guidance from the task force, we will provide advice and insights to state and federal governments on the support needed for our industry to rebound,” Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich told stakeholders today.

“We are also working collectively with other screen agencies, industry groups and key stakeholders to share information and provide an honest representation on the state of the screen industry to government, as well as support needed to navigate through the crisis.

“We will continue to invest in Queensland creativity and talent in the coming months, so we are ready to help create outstanding screen content when our communities return to normal.”

Screen NSW plans a series of initiatives including an increased focus on development and working with partners such as Screenworks to find ways to bring professional development opportunities to practitioners through online programs.

A number of projects seeking production finance from Screen NSW will be considered at the April 7 meeting of the Film and Television Industry Advisory Committee and a production finance round is open for applications.

South Australian Film Corp. CEO Kate Croser said today: “The SAFC’s priority is to support the SA screen sector to survive this crisis, preserve as many jobs as possible and be in a position to contribute to the recovery of the state’s economy once the emergency starts to ease.”

She provided this update on the agency’s programs:

• The Screen Production Investment Fund remains open and operational. To account for COVID-19-related delays to applications, the deadline for the current Screen Production Investment round has been extended to this Friday.

• The agency is exploring options for providing business resilience training for SA screen businesses and sole traders to assist with business planning. Expressions of interest should be submitted via the SAFC’s Smartygrants portal.

• The SAFC’s Lottie Lyell Award for 2020 will give $20,000 to a female/female identifying SA writer or writer/director to develop a project that is daring, ambitious and original. Applications are open until May 8.

• The Games Innovation Fund will proceed as planned and applications open on March 30.

Film Victoria said today it is proceeding as normal with the current production funding round to ensure successful projects are fully financed and ready to go into production as soon as they are able and it is working on other ways to support the industry through this time.

To take part in the Screen Queensland survey go here.

Check back for more news on the state agencies’ responses to the crisis.

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