Australia ups production coin

New South Wales targets international market

In some rare positive news for Australia’s ailing industry, the state of New South Wales has announced a A$25 million ($21 million) funding boost to film and TV productions.

The announcement, which coincides with Wednesday’s opening of the Sydney Film Festival, said the bulk of the funds will focus on incentives to help attract international productions, with $4 million earmarked for assisting local films.

The details of how the new coin will be distributed will be announced in the NSW budget later this month but it brings the state government’s total film investment to $29 million in the 2010-11 financial year.

The government estimates the entertainment industry generates over $1 billion in income annually and employs more than 6,800 people.

But international productions are thin on the ground possibly due to the strong Aussie dollar, the general downturn in international production and Oz’s distance from the U.S. and Europe.

In a statement to the media, Warner Bros. executive VP of physical production Bill Draper said, “This fund will put NSW in serious consideration as we scout the world for potential locations for our upcoming features.”

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