Oz aids script programs

Oz outlays $11.6 mil for scripts, pix

SYDNEY — Australia will pump A$15 million ($11.6 million) over three years into script development programs and low-budget feature development.

It also is earmarking $3 million annually for three years for the Australian Film, Television & Radio School’s Screen Industries Skills Enhancement Initiative.

Rushed scripts and small-budget features’ trouble in securing coin are regularly cited as contributing to the Oz industry’s recent ills.

Australian Film Commission topper Kim Dalton said the low-budget feature initiative, introduced late last year, has already produced promising projects and the added coin would help lift the industry’s doldrums.

“We appreciate the government’s increased commitment across the industry, in response to the recent decline in production levels,” he said.

The AFTRS Screen Industries Skills Enhancement Initiative will use the extra funding to establish a national Center for Screen Business in Melbourne to develop business skills for industryites and students and boost existing digital media training programs.

The school will move from its satellite location at North Ryde in Sydney to the inner city, closer to the film community it serves.

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