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The Co-production Program has been put in place to encourage production and foster relationships between international filmmakers.

In allowing two or more international producers to come together to make a screen project, it provides them with the opportunities to access the resources required to produce projects that will be internationally competitive. The objective of the program is to foster projects that will be truly international in terms of storytelling, budget ranges and the audiences to which they appeal.

How does it work?

Agreements between Governments specify how projects can be ‘co-produced’ between partner countries.

These agreements are in the form of either a Treaty or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). There are differences between the two but for the purposes of administering the Co-production Program and applying for co-production status, the practical effect is minimal.

In these guidelines we use the general term ‘Arrangements’ to refer to these agreements.

A project made under a co-production Arrangement between two countries is treated as a national project of those countries and can access all relevant benefits attached to being a ‘national film’ (see Why would you make a co-production?).

Each country which is party to an Arrangement nominates a ‘Competent Authority’ to administer the Co-production Program. Screen Australia is Australia’s Competent Authority and the other Competent Authorities are listed on the Partner countries pages. Competent Authorities work together and must jointly approve projects in order for them to be eligible as co-productions.

Purpose of these guidelines

While Screen Australia is keen to promote the use of the program to stimulate production activity and provide an avenue to international finance for Australian producers, it must also uphold the integrity of the international co-production system.

These guidelines have thus been developed by Screen Australia in its role as Australia’s Competent Authority, to underpin its administration of the program. They provide information on what is required to make an official co-production – the why and the how – and set out Screen Australia’s processes for assessing and approving a project under the program. The guidelines must always be read in conjunction with the Arrangement/s applicable to a particular project.

Screen Australia reserves the right to vary these guidelines at any time. The guidelines in effect at the time a provisional application is received by Screen Australia apply to the application, so if your project has been granted provisional co-production approved under a previous version of the guidelines, any final application for that project will also be assessed under the previous guidelines.

Further, Screen Australia reserves the right to depart from the guidelines in exceptional circumstances, but only where there is a strong rationale for doing so, and when the application in question is compliant with the relevant Arrangement/s.

Legal note: These guidelines must not be relied upon as an offer capable of acceptance by any person or as creating any form of contractual, quasi-contractual, restitutionary or promissory estoppel rights, or rights based on similar legal or equitable grounds, whether implied or otherwise.