The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has released the 7th annual National Survey of Feature Film and Independent TV Drama Production for the 1995/96 financial year.
In 1995/96 there was a 45 percent increase in independent Australian feature film and television drama production from $205 million in 1994/95 to $297 million in 1995/96. The main components of the increase were Australian feature film spending (up by $46 million on 1994/95 to $89 million) and television drama expenditure which increased by $46 million over the previous year to $208 million.
The survey records the total number and value of Australian production and overseas production occurring in Australia. The total production value of feature film and independent TV drama in 1995/96 was $478 million, an increase of $144 million over 1994/95. This is the highest value recorded since the survey began in 1988/89.
The total amount of budgets spent in Australia increased from $287 million in 1994/95 to $375 million in 1995/96.
In 1995/96, 30 feature films were produced at a total production value of $221 million, a 96 percent increase over 1994/95 (1994/95: 20 features at $113 million).
Independent television drama production occurring in Australia continued to increase, both in the number (from 51 in 1994/95 to 55 in 1995/96) and value of production, from $221 million in 1994/95 to $258 million last financial year. The number and total value of independent drama production are both the highest recorded since the survey began.
Commenting on the Survey AFC Chief Executive Cathy Robinson said the figures were welcome indications of an improvement in the film production sector after the reductions recorded in the 1994/95 Survey.
"These figures reveal a healthy, sustained growth in television and a welcome injection of private finance to the feature film industry. The survey also demonstrates the important, complementary contributions of local and international investment and key Australian government support in contributing to the growth of the Australian production sector," Ms Robinson noted.
"There has also been an excellent start to the current year with 16 feature films valued at $92 million starting production between July and November 1996."
Australian government funding sources were the principal investors in 43 productions (38 in 1994/95) worth $140 million, an increase of $25 million over 1994/95.
Productions in which private sector sources were the principal investors increased to $101 million. This figure, an 87 percent increase on 1994/95's figure of $54 million sees a return the investment levels of 1993/94 ($93 million).
Overseas sources were principal investors in 22 productions (14 in 1994/95) worth $238 million ($164 million in 1994/95). This is the highest value of foreign production shot in Australia since the Survey began in 1988/89. Overseas sources were majority investors in 8 Australian productions valued at $56 million and 14 foreign productions valued at $182 million.