Research shows that Oz residents like Oz films
New research shows that contrary to popular opinion, Aussie auds prefer good Aussie films over good pics from Hollywood or Blighty.Report commissioned by federal coin agency the Film Finance Corp. and presented to the biz this week proves the wisdom espoused by veteran distribs Alan Finney at Disney and Mike Selwyn at Paramount, who have been saying for years that Aussies disproportionately flock to local pics when they’re good. “Australian films do not suffer an inherent handicap in competition with U.S. films,” said report co-author John Berenyi. Report was commissioned due to a drop in auds for Oz films, some of which have been attracting good critical responses, such as “Romulus, My Father” and “Look Both Ways.” Speaking of the new study, FFC topper Brian Rosen said, “There’s a lot of good news in this.” FFC adviser Jonathan Chissick said, “It does give confidence to the Australian film industry.” Rosen said the report should encourage filmmakers and new federal coin agency Screen Australia, which begins business July 1, to invest more heavily in development and production. Hollywood studios considering plans to tap Australia’s 40% production rebate will be encouraged to know there’s a deep reserve of support for the local biz Down Under. Distribs could be encouraged to invest more heavily in marketing, possibly in concert with Screen Australia, Rosen said. Report also found films that should be marketed as mainstream rather than as arthouse, with the latter approach an impediment to a strong opening.