The Australian Film Commission has announced several amendments to the International Co-production Program Guidelines, to take effect from 1 October 1999.
Key changes include a restriction on source material and a relaxation of the financing rules. However, guidelines will not be amended to incorporate the eligibility criteria used for 10BA tax deductions.
From 1 October a co-production must be based on works written by nationals or residents of one of the co-producing countries, or be in the public domain.
Previously co-producers could source their finance from any country except that of their co-producing partner. This restriction will be lifted.
The new guidelines will contain a more detailed assessment procedure, including time limits for lodging applications.
The AFC will consult with MEAA to develop criteria to define "an actor of international standing", a provision which relates only to the treaty with Canada.
"The intention of these amendments is to strengthen the co-production process which is designed to facilitate productions which originate in the home country of one of the co-producing partners," said Kim Dalton, Chief Executive of the Australian Film Commission.
"The AFC will also continue to consult widely about ways of maintaining the integrity of Australian content without unfairly limiting producers' use of the co-production program. Applying the 10BA criteria would, in some instances, exclude certain types of programs and limit opportunities" Mr Dalton said.
The new guidelines are the result of an extensive and lengthy process of revision and consultation carried out by the Industry Advisory Panel that advises the AFC on co-production matters.