Oz Seeks To Offset Domestic Slump

Australia’s film state agencies, responsible for location promotion and development, are expecting good dividends from last winter’s Location Expo in Santa Monica.

All of Australia’s agencies except the South Australian Film Corp. (currently under severe financial restraints) waved the flag at Expo.

They report strong interest from foreign producers attracted to location-laden Oz, where minimum savings of up to 20% can apply (based on the current exchange rate) and a reliable production infrastructure hungers for offshore work to make up for a paucity of domestic work.

Says Greg Smith, director of the New South Wales Film & TV Office, echoing his counterparts at the West Australian Film Council, Film Victoria, and the Queensland Film Development Office: “A couple of features and series are possible.”

WAFC director Andrew Swanson managed an arrangement with a yet to be disclosed U.S. cultural group to jointly develop a project that would be largely shot in West Australia.

Producers’ guild, the Screen Production Assn. of Australia, has started tubthumping Oz locations. This year for the first time it had representation at Expo, and sent publicist Jane Glen, to MIP to do the rounds. She’ll also be on hand at Cannes.

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