Thu, 08 Jun 2023

Australia announces funding for local film projects

03 Aug 2022, 13:05 GMT+10

SYDNEY, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Screen Australia, a government body that supports the nation's film industry, has announced new funding for a variety of projects as it seeks to further propel Australia's "golden age" of online content production.

On Wednesday, the body announced 2 million Australian dollars (about 1.38 million U.S. dollars) which would go towards nine shows including children's cartoons, comedies and documentaries.

Screen Australia's Head of Online Lee Naimo said the investment would give local creators an opportunity to reach new audiences.

"We are excited to fund such a variety of projects with boundary-pushing documentaries, smart and original dramas and comedies as well as a children's animated series."

Australia's film industry has also increasingly ramped up investment in children's shows, following the wild success of Australian cartoon, Bluey.

The show, which follows a family of blue heelers, an Australian breed of dog, gained international acclaim and flung Australia's film industry onto the world stage.

"We'd like to see even more children's content coming through for online as it's becoming more and more an important medium to reach young viewers," added Naimo.

Also among the shows to receive funding is Wonderful Waste, a docuseries which explores the role that home design and sustainable furniture use can play in reducing waste, which came amid Australia's push to reduce waste and phase out plastics.

The number of films produced in Australia has more than doubled since the 1970s, according to Screen Australia. In the 2020 to 2021 financial year, the nation released 42 films with a total budget of 524 million Australian dollars (about 361 million U.S. dollars).

And while the profitability of Australia's film industry has been hinged on the production of Hollywood movies such as Thor: Love and Thunder, Elvis and Mad Max, the tax breaks to attract foreign films have drawn criticism.

Screen Australia remains an important mechanism to fund local independent films. Naimo said the funding would help engage the Australian fan bases with authentic and relatable stories.

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