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Western Australia Launches $12 Million Film Fund

Western Australia has launched a US$12 million (A$16 million) film fund intended to attract and increase inbound production from Australia and the rest of the world.

The Western Australian Regional Film Fund, which becomes operational from July 1, draws its funding from the state’s Royalties for Regions cash pool. It will be administered by regional agency ScreenWest.

Productions applying for funding must meet several quality criteria including minimum production spend in the state, and likely audience reach. They are also expected to use a completion bond. Productions can combine the finance with other state or federal incentives.

“The fund will attract key national and international players to make content in the regions whilst utilizing local crews and creating great opportunities for local talent,” ScreenWest chief executive, Ian Booth said.

“ScreenWest will market the great locations of Western Australia nationally and overseas to encourage film, TV and documentary producers to bring their projects here. In turn, we will be promoting local infrastructure capabilities, services and co-production opportunities.” Western Australia is Australia’s largest state, but has a population of only 2.6 million, accounting for 11% of the Australian population.

The Royalties for Regions program recently supported the production of films including “Jasper Jones,” “Red Dog: True Blue” and Simon Baker’s directorial debut “Breath.” All are due for release over the next 12 months.

In 2014-2015 ScreenWest invested US$3.82 million (A$5.11 million) in 40 projects. That in turn leveraged production with a total value of US$30 million (A$40.4 million.)

“The opportunity to realize Tim Winton’s iconic novel in its own rugged and pristine environment has been a filmmakers dream. We are grateful for the community’s support and embrace of our cast and crew, it has helped our production immensely,” said “The Mentalist” star Baker, who acts as director and producer on “Breath.”

Jasper Jones, a coming of age mystery based on the novel by Fremantle writer Craig Silvey, recently finished shooting in the state. The film is directed by Rachel Perkins and produced by Vincent Sheehan and David Jowsey.

“Red Dog – True Blue,” is a follow on from the runaway hit “Red Dog” and was again directed by Kriv Stenders with production by Nelson Woss, working alongside the Pilbara Development Commission.

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