Production in the Australian film and television industry has remained stable over the past 12 months, with a slight increase in last year's figures bringing the total expenditure in Australia to $570 million.
The results are detailed in the Australian Film Commission's annual National Production Survey, released today.
The total value of Australian productions (excluding co-productions and foreign productions made here) has recovered substantially after last year's low, increasing by 16% to $347 million. Significantly, the value of television drama is up 22%.
Spending by co-productions in Australia rose from $87 million to $109 million, while spending by foreign productions in Australia dropped back from last year's high of $181 million to $115 million.
The rise in value of Australian television drama production came largely from children's programs, specifically the start up of a number of large animation productions (which tend to be made over longer periods than live action drama).
The total production value of Australian feature films increased slightly from last year, from $119 million to $127 million, boosted by the big-budget Moulin Rouge. The actual number of Australian features fell from 41 to 31, with budgets continuing to skew towards the lower end of the spectrum. All but Moulin Rouge were produced for $6 million or less and 13 were made for $1 million or less.
The absence of films in the $6 to $20 million budget category is not unusual. It underlines the fact that the Australian industry continues to have difficulty maintaining a consistent level of production activity in the higher budget ranges.
"It is pleasing to see television drama figures have come back from the low of last year. However, there is no growth overall in the industry and we have noted the continuing downward pressure on the budgets of local television programs," said Kim Dalton, Chief Executive of the AFC. "Overall, these figures confirm that it is Australian productions which provide the basis of a healthy, sustainable industry."
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