Australia’s Victoria state has set out a four-year plan to capitalize on the country’s post-COVID boom in film and television production and give the region a sustainable, long-term future as an entertainment hub.
The announcement was made by state minister for creative industries Danny Pearson. He also published Vicsreen, a strategy paper which he said was the state’s first for the entertainment industry in over a decade.
It provides A$121 million ($95 million) in new funding from the 2021–22 state budget, and will guide the Victoria government’s record A$192 million ($151 million) investment to transform Victoria’s screen industry over the next four years.
“The strategy is set to support more than 40,000 jobs and inject more than $1.2 billion ($945 million) back into the Victorian economy. As well as growing screen jobs, it will strengthen screen businesses, foster homegrown talent, and bring more local content to screens worldwide,” Pearson said.
Concrete measures proposed include: a new screen production fund for Victoria companies; expansion of the Victoria Screen Incentive system to encourage use of the state for production and post-production; rebuilding of the state’s kids entertainment sector; establishment of a creators’ lab to accelerate premium drama development; skills enhancement programs, especially in VFX, games and animation; and a new international prize for the Melbourne International Film Festival.
The Vicscreen strategy is to be implemented by “a rebranded and expanded Film Victoria will lead the in collaboration with Docklands Studios Melbourne, newly reopened museum Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Creative Victoria.”
“It will build on the recent success of local productions such as ‘The Dry,’ the A$46 million ($36.2 million) expansion at Docklands Studios Melbourne with a sixth sound stage and the $40 million ($31.5 million) transformation of ACMI,” said the Vicscreen strategy paper.
The state has been home to multiple inbound productions such as Netflix’s “Clickbait.” Last week it was announced that Melbourne would stand in for Los Angeles and be the production venue for NBCUniversal’s sinkhole drama series “La Brea.”