|Predecessor|| Australian Film Commission |
Film Finance Corporation Australia
Number of employees
Screen Australia is the Australian Federal Government's key funding body for the Australian screen production industry, created under the Screen Australia Act 2008. From 1 July 2008 Screen Australia took over the functions of its predecessor agencies the Australian Film Commission (AFC), the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) and Film Australia Limited.
Screen Australia supports the development, production, promotion and distribution of Australian narrative and documentary screen content.
The Commonwealth Screen Australia Act 2008 provides detailed information about the specific functions and powers of Screen Australia.Under this act, from 1 July 2008 the Australian Film Commission, the Film Finance Corporation Australia and Film Australia Limited were merged into one body, to be known as Screen Australia.
Screen Australia functions to support and promote the development of screen culture in Australia, with a primary focus on creating innovative and commercially sustainable screen production. Screen Australia also operates to support the production, promotion and distribution of Australian screen content, as well as ensuring access to these programs. Screen Australia provides support to content creators through providing financial assistance, guarantees, services, facilities, programs and equipment, as well as sponsoring other activities, and supports the development of a diverse range of Australian programs, with an emphasis on documentaries, children's programs and cultural programs. It also promotes programs that incorporate matters of national interest or importance to Australians, or programs with relevance to Australian people and their lives.Across its various departments, Screen Australia supports the development, production, promotion and distribution of Australian narrative and documentary screen content.
As of 2020 [update] , the CEO is Graeme Mason, while Sally Caplan is Head of Content. The chairman of the Screen Australia Board is Nicholas Moore, while board members include Claudia Karvan and Deborah Mailman.
The agency not only provides funding to individuals and companies within the industry, but also administers the tax rebate for the production of Australian screen content, known as the Producer Offset.(The other rebates which complete the "Australian Screen Production Incentive" suite are maintained by the Department of Communications and the Arts. )
In 1993, the Australian Film Commission established the Indigenous Branch, whose work was continued through Screen Australia's Indigenous Department. This branch was creating following the recommendations of Shirley McPherson and Michael Pope's report, Promoting Indigenous Involvement in the Film and Television Industry, with the primary objective of increasing the rate of engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the screen industry. After the establishment of Screen Australia in 2008, it took over the department.As of June 2018 [update] it had provided A$35 million in funding to over 160 projects, with its annual budget then A$3.3 million.
Statistics showed a significant shift in the engagement of Indigenous and Torres Straight Islanders within the film industry over 25 years of the existence of the Indigenous Department. A 2002 study found that no Indigenous actors had a notable role on Australian television in 1992, and this number had only risen to two by 1999. However, a Screen Australia study in 2016 found that 5 percent of main characters on Australian television between 2011 and 2015 were Indigenous.
To be eligible for assistance from Screen Australia's Indigenous Department, the applicant must be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian and must develop a project in which an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian has a key creative role, such as a writer or director.
Penny Smallacombe is Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia.
In August 2018, the department celebrated 25 years of its existence, which filmmakers, actors and others associated with the industry, including Rachel Perkins, Ivan Sen, Leah Purcell, and Warwick Thornton, celebrated at the Carriageworks in Redfern.
As of 2020 [update] (having introduced a new system in 2018 ), Screen Australia runs several funding programs for Australian filmmakers:
There are also separate programs for funding feature films relating to Indigenous Australians,documentary films, and for pitching films to international markets.
The application process to receive funding from Screen Australia was previously complicated and required creators to have previous screen credits in order to be eligible. However, the introduction of the Generate and Premium funds has allowed for virtually no eligibility barriers, encouraging new entrants to complete the application process. An application to receive funding from Screen Australia requires a one-page synopsis as well as a three-minute pitch to camera, describing the story, intended audience and how the film will reach them.
Screen Australia supplied nearly A$76 million in direct funding to the screen sector in the 2018/19 financial year.
In the 2019/20 financial year, A$41 million was approved for producing narrative films, including television drama, feature films, children's television and online productions.
In 2020, the funding model and the practices of the organisation had to change significantly owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia and worldwide on the film industry. Screen Australia first gave more than A$1 million in emergency funding for productions that had already had funding, but were forced to close down or pause production. Additional funding was provided for projects that could work remotely, and a new Premium Plus development fund was launched. COVID-safe guidelines were developed for the industry in a joint initiative by the Australian Screen Sector Task Force; Screen Australia allocated A$10 million to a new COVID-19 Budget Support Fund, and were appointed to administer the A$50 million Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF), announced by the government on 25 June 2020.
In August 2020, A$2.7 million in funding was announced, allocated to nine projects which include two feature films, two television series (one for children)and several online projects. In October 2020, further funding was announced the first round of funding for the 2020/21 financial year from the Premium and Generate funding schemes, which includes funding for 7 feature films, 16 TV drama series and 5 online projects.
Currently there are significant legislative changes under review which will affect how the Qualifying Australian Production Expenditure (QAPE) is structured.
Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. is an Australian distribution and rights management company, specialising in feature films, documentaries, television series and anime across theatrical and home entertainment formats in Australia and New Zealand. Its headquarters are in East Melbourne, Victoria.
Vibe Australia is an Aboriginal media, communications and events management agency founded by Gavin Jones in 1993. Located in Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia.
The Adelaide Film Festival is an international film festival usually held for two weeks in mid-October in cinemas in Adelaide, South Australia. Originally presented biennially in March from 2003, since 2013 AFF has been held in October. Subject to funding, the festival stages full or briefer events in alternating years; some form of event has taken place every year since 2015. It has a strong focus on local South Australian and Australian produced content, with the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFFIF) established to fund investment in Australian films.
The Australian Writers' Guild (AWG) is the professional association for Australian performance writers for film, television, radio, theatre, video and new media. The AWG was established in 1962. The AWG is a member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), established as the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS) in 1964, is an independent Australian Government statutory authority. It is a collecting, publishing and research institute and is considered to be Australia's premier resource for information about the cultures and societies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Institute is a leader in ethical research and the handling of culturally sensitive material and holds in its collections many unique and irreplaceable items of cultural, historical and spiritual significance. The collection at AIATSIS has been built through over 50 years of research and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and is now a source of language and culture revitalisation, native title research and family and community history. AIATSIS is located on Acton Peninsula in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
The Deadly Awards, commonly known simply as The Deadlys, was an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community. The first Deadlys were held in 1995, at the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-op in the Redfern suburb of Sydney. They stemmed from Boomalli's 1993 Deadly Sounds music and culture radio show, and were driven by Gavin Jones. Over the next few years, their venue shifted through The Metro Theatre, the Hard Rock Café, Home in Darling Harbour, Fox Studios and others. Then 2001 began The Deadlys residency at the Sydney Opera House, from where the annual gala was broadcast by National Indigenous Television.
Larissa Yasmin Behrendt is a legal academic, writer, filmmaker and Indigenous rights advocate. As of 2020 she is a Professor of Law and Director of Research and Academic Programs at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney, and holds the inaugural Chair in Indigenous Research.
The Australian Film Commission (AFC) was an Australian government agency with a mandate to promote the creation and distribution of films in Australia as well as to preserve the country's film history. It also had a production arm responsible for production and commissioning of films for the government. It was established by the Whitlam Government in 1975 as the successor to the Australian Film Development Corporation set up by the Gorton Government. The AFC had offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
National Indigenous Television (NITV) is an Australian free-to-air television channel that broadcasts programming produced and presented largely by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It includes the half-hourly nightly NITV News, with programming including other news and current affairs programmes, sports coverage, entertainment for children and adults, films and documentaries covering a range of topics. Its primary audience is Indigenous Australians, but many non-Indigenous people tune in to learn more about the history of and issues affecting the country's First Nations peoples.
Film and TV financing in Australia refers to government assistance to TV and cinema in Australia. Over the past 30 years, government assistance has involved a mixture of government support, distributor/ broadcaster involvement and private investment. To a significant extent, government policies have shaped the form and scale of financing.
Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI), formerly known as Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (BSÉ/IFB), is the Republic of Ireland’s state development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry. It provides funds for the development, production and distribution of feature films, feature documentaries, short films, TV animation series and TV drama series.
First Australians is an Australian historical documentary series produced by Blackfella Films over the course of six years, and first aired on SBS TV in October 2008. The documentary is part of a greater project that further consists of a book, a community outreach program and a substantial website featuring over 200 mini-documentaries.
Rachel Perkins is an Australian film and television director, producer, and screenwriter. She is known for her films Radiance (1998), One Night the Moon (2001), Bran Nue Dae (2010), and Jasper Jones (2017). Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman from Central Australia, who was raised in Canberra by Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins and his wife Eileen.
Screenwest is Western Australia's screen funding and development organisation, working in partnership with the screen industry to develop, support and promote film, television and digital media production in Western Australia. Screenwest receives funding from the Government of Western Australia via Lotterywest. In July 2017 it took over the FTI.
The Dungog Film Festival was an annual event held in the Hunter Region town of Dungog. Dungog Film Festival was a not for profit arts organisation that was dedicated to celebrating and promoting Australian screen industry. The festival was committed to education and nurturing the health of the Australian film and TV industry through a range of dynamic initiatives. Some proceeds of the festival have gone towards preserving the James Theatre. The festival aimed to support the Australian Film and TV Industry in a non-competitive environment that exclusively showcased Australian screen content.
Redfern Now is an Australian drama television series, that first aired on ABC1 in 2012. The program follows the lives of 6 Aboriginal Australian families living in the urban hub of Redfern, Sydney. The series provides insight into contemporary issues facing Aboriginal Australians, including lack of employment and mental illness, which are positioned as direct ramifications of colonialisation and the Stolen Generations. Produced by Blackfella Films as part of the ABC’s Indigenous Department, the show is the first series to be ‘commissioned, written, acted and produced by Indigenous Australians’. The series’ release contributes to widespread public debate surrounding Indigenous representation in the Australian media.
Blackfella Films is a Sydney-based documentary and narrative production company, founded in 1992 by Rachel Perkins. The company produces distinctive Australian short and feature-length content for film and television with a particular focus on Aboriginal Australian stories. Its productions have included the documentary series First Australians, the documentary The Tall Man, the television film Mabo, and the TV series Redfern Now.
Smith & Nasht is an Australian media production company formed by serial entrepreneur Dick Smith and filmmaker Simon Nasht. The company was established in 2010 and has specialised in "global issue" films. As of 2019, topics have included energy, climate change, science, natural history, over-population and cybercrime. Smith&Nasht's first film – I Can Change Your Mind About Climate – aired on the ABC in 2012 and was followed by a high‐rating episode of the TV discussion show, Q&A.
Regulations on television programming in Australia are enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority to promote programming which reflects Australian identity and cultural diversity. Commercial networks must adhere to content quotas of Australian programming, in the categories of Australian content quotas, children's content quotas, commercial broadcasting quotas, community broadcasting quotas, public broadcasting quotas and subscription television quotas. Regulations are based on the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.
The 9thannualCanadian Screen Awards were held in the week of May 17 to 20, 2021, to honour achievements in Canadian film, television and digital media production in 2020. Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, and the partial but incomplete progress of public vaccination, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced that the ceremony would proceed virtually, but Academy CEO Beth Janson stated that "it’s not going to be just a Zoom call of an awards show. We have a lot of exciting and creative things in store."