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Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF)

The Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) was announced on 25 June 2020 by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts. The aim of TIF is to support local film and television producers to start filming again in circumstances where new productions have been halted by insurers not providing coverage for COVID-19.

WHAT IS TIF? 

TIF is a $50 million fund made available by the Australian Government and administered by Screen Australia.

The fund provides assistance for new local productions which have been unable to start production due to production insurance exclusions relating to COVID-19.

TIF will provide coverage to productions for specific events relating to COVID-19 that occur during the last two weeks of pre-production and the period of principal photography. Further details are provided at Coverage provided by TIF, below.

Screen Australia’s total liability under TIF for a production will be capped at 60% of the total budget, or $4 million, whichever is less. An applicant can agree with Screen Australia for coverage at a lesser amount than the capped amount.

Screen Australia will not commit more than $50 million of TIF coverage to productions at any moment in time.

Eligibility: Who can apply?

You must apply to Screen Australia to have coverage under TIF.

TIF is a fund for Australian productions made in Australia. To be eligible for TIF: 

  • feature films, drama series, documentary series or single episode programs:
  • a provisional certificate for the Producer Offset; or
  • a provisional official co-production approval, 

issued by Screen Australia (as appropriate); or

  • entertainment or reality series:
  • must, in Screen Australia’s opinion, be capable of passing the Significant Australian Content test based on the information provided in the application form.

TIF is available to productions regardless of whether or not they have separately received direct Screen Australia production funding, but applicants must meet the following provisions based on Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade:

  • the applicant must be a company incorporated and carrying on business in Australia, and have its central management and control in Australia;
  • the applicant company must control the rights to carry out the production; and
  • the applicant company and its related companies must not be in breach of any obligation under any agreement it has with Screen Australia or its predecessors.

TIF is a fund aimed at getting new productions started. An eligible production must have:

  • not commenced principal photography at the time of application; and
  • commenced principal photography on or before 30 June 2021.

TIF is a fund aimed at productions with a principal photography component. An eligible production must consist of predominantly live action content created specifically for the production.

TIF operates alongside market based risk minimisation practices. The applicant company must have “Film Producers Indemnity” (FPI) insurance covering named individuals from an approved insurer. Applicants will need to provide an existing certificate of currency or valid quotation.

TIF only applies to productions with FPI insurance that excludes coverage for COVID-19 events.

A production will not be covered by TIF unless it has been approved and the applicant company has executed a TIF agreement between it and Screen Australia (the TIF Agreement).  

What is not eligible for this program?

The production will not be eligible for TIF if:

  • it is a feature film, drama series, documentary series or single episode program that does not have a provisional certificate for the producer offset (ie. location offset productions, productions below producer offset minimum spend thresholds); or
  • it is an animation program unless it is a hybrid live action animation (and is predominantly live action).

Approved insurers

Production companies must have a valid FPI insurance policy with:

  • SURA Film and Entertainment Pty Ltd; or
  • Allianz Australia Insurance Limited.

More insurers may be approved during the period in which TIF operates and, if so, they will be added to these Guidelines. 

Any claim against TIF will be made directly to Screen Australia and its nominee (being the relevant FPI insurer or a third party loss assessor) who will manage the claim on behalf of Screen Australia. The nominee will otherwise assess it in accordance with its usual assessment practices.

On completion of the assessment, the insurer or assessor will make a recommendation to Screen Australia. Ultimately a decision to accept a claim will be made by Screen Australia, who will have the right to seek an additional assessment from another party. 

How and when can I apply?

Applications for TIF are open until 28 May 2021 and can be made through the application portal. You can preview the application form, and the attachments required, at the portal.

How are applications assessed?

Applications will be assessed by Screen Australia staff. Screen Australia will prioritise coverage through TIF based on the following criteria:

  • proximity to the commencement of principal photography;
  • readiness to enter production;
  • demonstrable need to acquire TIF coverage to move into production;
  • impact of the length of principal photography on the ability of TIF to support other productions; and
  • the total current contingent TIF exposure. 

The fact that a production has Screen Australia production investment is not a criteria. Priority will not be given to a production because it has Screen Australia funding.

As Screen Australia will not commit more than $50 million of TIF coverage, productions that are not immediately approved will be moved to a wait list. As productions complete principal photography, others can move from the wait list to be covered by TIF.

New applications will be assessed against others on the wait list, based on the above criteria.

If productions without TIF approval wish to commence, they may do so. However, once they commence principal photography they will be ineligible for TIF coverage.

Screen Australia aims to turn decisions around in a 3 week turnaround from receipt of a complete application. Applicants will be advised of the outcome in writing, and successful applicants will move to contracting immediately.

Coverage provided by TIF

Subject at all times to the specific terms of the TIF Agreement between Screen Australia and the applicant company, TIF will cover the loss to the production due to the death, injury or illness of a named individual (capped at 10 individuals) if that loss is not covered under the applicant company’s FPI policy solely due to the named individual contracting COVID-19. Named individuals are limited to key cast, the director(s), the producer(s) and Heads of Department. 

Screen Australia’s total liability for each production covered by TIF is 60% of the total budget of the production, or $4 million, whichever is less, or a lower amount as agreed between the applicant and Screen Australia.  

Screen Australia will not pay the first $50,000 of any loss caused by a named individual contracting COVID-19.

Protection through TIF is limited to events which occur in the period commencing in last two weeks of pre-production and concluding at the end of the last day of principal photography.

TIF only provides coverage for events that happen in Australia.

Fee

Production companies will need to pay a fee for TIF coverage. The fee is calculated at 1% of the TIF coverage provided for a production.  

For example, if the TIF coverage is $4 million, the fee is $40,000.

If the TIF coverage is $1 million, the fee is $10,000.

Revocation of approval

Except in exceptional circumstances, if a production does not commence principal photography on the date specified in the TIF Agreement, Screen Australia will revoke the TIF coverage and the applicant company will need to reapply for TIF coverage for the production. 

Credit

A contractual requirement of productions supported by TIF will be a dedicated credit in the end credits that:

“This production was supported by the Australian Government through the COVID-19 Temporary Interruption Fund”

Limited fund

TIF is a capped $50 million fund. If the funds are exhausted, no further support can be provided to productions.

Further questions

If you have any further questions, please email us at [email protected].