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Development and Production (cont.)

Image Jon McCormack's interactive work Universal Zoologies received AFC production investment.

Professional Development Production

Objective: To resource and facilitate the careers of writers, directors and producers with the potential to make a significant contribution in their chosen fields, achieved primarily through the provision of production investment for feature film, short film, documentary, animation and completion funding for interactive media projects.

Feature Film

Through the Million Dollar Movie Accord with SBS Independent (SBSI), the AFC has financed the production of five feature films. Fresh Air (d/w: Neil Mansfield; p: Rosemary Blight) was completed in 1998/99. City Loop (aka Bored Olives, d: Belinda Chayko; p: Bruce Redman; w: Stephen Davis), A Wreck A Tangle (d: Scott Patterson; p: Nicki Roller; w: John O'Brien) and Mallboy (d/w: Vincent Giarrusso; p: Fiona Eagger) were completed in 2000. The fifth and final Million Dollar Movie, La Spagnola (d: Steven Jacobs; p/w: Anna-Maria Monticelli), was approved in September 1999 and principal photography began in January 2000.

New guidelines for feature film investment now specify investments of up to $800,000 in a feature film by a first or second time director but place no further restraint on the budget, marketplace involvement or sources of finance. No investments in feature film production under the new guidelines were made during the year.

Short Drama

Most AFC-financed short dramas in recent years were in the 10- to 15-minute range. Because they were intended to prepare filmmakers for projects of longer duration, the program was not meeting their needs effectively. For this reason, new guidelines for short drama production investment were introduced during the year, encouraging filmmakers to pursue projects of 20 minutes or more. The amount that can be invested by the AFC was increased to $200,000.

Three new short films received full production finance during the year: Pyjama Girl (d/w: Maryanne Lynch; p: Gabrielle Jones), The Big House (d/w: Rachel Ward; p: Henrietta Hartford-Davis) and In Search Of Mike (d: Andrew Lancaster; p: Megan Harding; w: Brian Carbee). Another 10 projects received post-production finance.


New guidelines for documentary production raised the limit on AFC investment from $100,000 to $250,000, removed any requirement for broadcaster involvement, and removed the previous restriction of funding to first or second time directors. The intention is to encourage more ambitious projects that might become landmarks in Australian documentary at a time when relatively inexpensive films shot using digital video are becoming prevalent.

Five projects received production investments, while a further eight projects received post-production finance. No projects in the higher budget range were financed during the year.


The AFC/SBSI initiative 'Swimming Outside The Flags' was screened on SBS in November 1999. Following on from this success the AFC entered a new initiative to finance 12 animations, generating three half-hours of television, in collaboration with SBSI, Film Victoria and the NSW Film and Television Office (NSWFTO) under the title 'Home Movies'.

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Page last updated 26 September 2000