New S. Wales maps strategy to lure films

In the closing days of the cliffhanger New South Wales (NSW) election, the Liberal government unveiled a $A6.5 million ($4.75 million) film strategy in an attempt to win a larger slice of the $1 billion Australian film production pie.

Two years in the making, new measures for the NSW Film & Television Office include a $3.6 million revolving film fund, a $729,500 multimedia unit complete with a two specialist staff, plus a location promos office.

In recent years, NSW’s position as the leading filmmaker Down Under has been under threat owing to a bevy of financial incentives offered by rival states Queensland and Victoria. The revolving film fund will attempt to lure production projects back to NSW with the film-tv office making loans, capped at 20% of a production’s budget, to discount distribution guarantees and production presales.

The office also will receive $364,750 per year for the next three years to establish Sydney Film, a locations marketing office to rival Victoria’s Melbourne Film Office and Queensland’s Pacific Film & Television. It is hoped private sector funding will match the government’s commitment in the second and third years.

“It is imperative that Sydney actively compete to attract these films,” NSW treasurer and arts minister Peter Collins said. “In the next three years alone, we estimate films worth up to $510.7 million will be brought to Australia.”

“The industry has the potential to double in size over the next decade based on the development of new media technologies – such as pay TV and digital multimedia – and its capacity to attract international productions,” he added.

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