Gov’t coin pumps Melbourne fund

$2.3 million secured

MELBOURNE — The Melbourne Film Festival’s fledging market and premiere investment fund has secured another two years funding of A$2.4 million ($2.3 million) from the Victorian government.

The move is welcome relief for filmmakers in the state, where there are currently no features in production. MIFF Premiere Fund invests small sums in unfinished pics so long as they agree to world preem at the event while the market, 37 south, introduces Oz filmmakers to domestic and foreign buyers.

“37 south is a great opportunity to connect with sales agents and buyers outside of the frenzy of Cannes,” said producer Sue Maslin, who opted for an $80,000 loan from MIFF rather than equity in her documentary “Dominic Dunne: After the Party.”

Helmer of doc “Not Quite Hollywood,” Mark Hartley, said last-minute fest funds enabled him to acquire rights to another 20 minutes of footage he otherwise could not afford.

“It allowed us to finish this film as I wanted it to be,” he said.