Aussies high on pic fund

Group to invest in up to 20 projects

SYDNEY — More than three years after it was first proposed, a conservative federal government initiative to stimulate private investment in Australian films is finally bearing fruit.

Almost 15 months after being awarded licenses by the government to raise A$20 million ($11.6 million) each by offering investors 100% tax breaks on sums received to back a slate of screen projects, Macquarie Film Corp. and Content Capital tell Daily Variety they are on course to successfully complete their fundraising by June 30.

Macquarie topper Bryan Lowe says the group will invest in up to 20 projects. After receiving more than 300 pitches, Macquarie, whose board members include former Village Roadshow topper Greg Coote, “The Matrix” producer Andrew Mason and ex-Seven Network stalwart Glen Kinging, is now negotiating its first projects with a shortlist of producers.

That list includes the brains behind some of Oz’s highest grossing properties of recent years, such as Marian Macgowan (“Two Hands”), John Brousek (“Wog Boy”), Marc Gracie (“The Craic”) and Ben Gannon (“Heartbreak High”).

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