Kim Dalton, Chief Executive of the Australian Film Commission (AFC), today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of a $92.7 million funding package to the local production industry and in particular the increased funding to the AFC.
The AFC will receive new funding of $3 million in 2002-2003, rising to $5 million in 2003-2004, with an additional $2.1 million over three years to seed the development of broadband content and applications.
"These additional funds, which the Government has committed to providing through to 2005-2006, mean that the AFC will now be able to boost its spending in the vital areas of script and professional development," Kim Dalton said.
"The AFC has worked closely with Government over the past year to put the argument that the continued health of the Australian film and television industry is dependent on increased investment in development. I am delighted that the Government has recognised that the industry's success of recent years - including domestic box office hits and the increasing international participation of Australians at all levels of the industry - has been underpinned by the development work of the AFC over its 25 years," Mr Dalton said.
"Government support will always be necessary to ensure the on-going health of the industry and to achieve the Government's cultural imperative that Australians see Australian stories on their television, cinema and computer screens."
A major report into development practice in the Australian feature film industry, released by the AFC in 2001, found that overall levels of development investment in feature films in Australia are low, particularly when compared to other significant non-US film industries in Europe and the UK, and that funding for development has decreased over recent years.
Mr Dalton also welcomed the Government's announcement of a range of measures to assist the foreign production sector while emphasising that Australia's ability to attract significant off-shore production was dependent upon the continued growth of a highly skilled and talented local industry.