Art & Architecture + [Universal]

A well-hung parliament means…

The Bank Job

The Bank Job (movie poster)

So, with the Australian Federal Election last night and the actual results more unstable than Britney Spears’ mental state, I thought I would let you know about this lil snippet of governmental news left over from last week’s Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC).

Shadow Arts Minister Steven Ciobo wants to get the Australian film industry’s reels rolling with the announcement of a $60 million temporary film production fund if the Abbott Government is declared the winner sometime in the near future. Mr Ciobo unveiled the Coalition’s Arts Policy at the Australian International Movie Convention at Jupiters Hotel and Casino last week. The fund is aimed to spur investment in Australian film productions by providing matching loans to distributors of eligible Australian films with production budgets between $7 million and $30 million.

Mr Ciobo said he hopes it will refocus the national film industry on commercial outcomes. “The film industry of Australia has been abandoned by the Labor government,” he said. “There’s no doubt the Australian film industry has done it particularly tough in the past couple of years and we think this is crucial to helping the film industry get back on its feet. It’s basically a temporary loan that has been introduced at the beckoning of the industry. This is a way we can put increased emphasis on commercial realisation of quality films, so we can match the funding of distributors and insure there’s a stronger commercial focus that we believe will lead to a healthier local industry.”

The loan will match dollar-for-dollar the financial commitments made by film distributors, with a minimum loan of $2 million and maximum loan of $10 million. Managing director of Omnilab Media Chris Mapp said it would help get movies to the screen earlier, instead of companies having to spend time fighting for funding. “Tomorrow When The War Began is a really a great example where the budget cracks ran with us right up into the start of production and with the loan vehicle put forth by the Coalition it would have helped plug any of the gaps we had and raise funds for that movie,” he said. “The key thing is that we have had to stop work in other areas because we’ve tied up so much in making films.”

Omnilab is Australia and New Zealand’s largest privately owned media company and responsible for films such as The Bank Job, Bran Nue Dae and Tomorrow When The War Began. Under the case scenario modeled by the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) 73 per cent of the funds invested will be returned to the Commonwealth over seven years. The fund will run for five years before being wound up. Managing Director of Universal Pictures Australasia Mike Baard said the plan would help bring more large-scale productions like Nim’s Island and Sanctum to the Gold Coast.

A well-hung parliament means…, 9 out of 10 [based on 487 votes]