Screen Australia gets investment OK

New guildlines receive tentative approval

SYDNEY — New investment guidelines from federal agency Screen Australia have received tentative approval from key constituents, including the Screen Producers Assn. of Australia.

The draft guidelines developed in consultation with the industry were published this week before a final consultation round and implementation in January.

“There’s nothing in it that concerns us,” said SPAA prexy Antony I. Ginnane of the new guidelines that tend to favor experienced filmmakers. “But we’ve got to look at the fact there’s really no numbers and as such we’re yet to see how they’re going to divide the whole pie.”

Screen Australia was formed in July from a merger of three bodies — documentary agency Film Australia, the Film Finance Corp. and development org. the Australian Film Commission.

It will distribute A$82 million ($53 million) a year towards production and development of films, docs, skeins and kidvids.

Incoming topper Ruth Harley has pledged to give pics marketing assistance but the draft report does not address how this will happen.

New schemes include an enterprise program to grow existing screen businesses and encourage new partnerships.

Org will fund master classes, industry fellowships and reward digital innovation. It will direct funds to movies, docs and animated shorts.

Movie funding will go to a diverse slate of Australian films that resonate with audiences.

Doc funding will funnel through existing schemes.