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Feature films

A feature film is the only format which receives a 40 per cent Producer Offset.

A feature film is the only format which receives a 40 per cent Producer Offset. A feature film must be made for screening as the main attraction in commercial cinemas. As such, it should be at least 60 minutes in length (or 45 minutes for large-format, such as IMAX). A feature film may be an animated feature film or a documentary.

As a guide, applicants should plan to earn a meaningful proportion of the project’s revenue from the Australian theatrical box office.

Factors that are relevant in determining whether a project is a feature film and is produced for exhibition to the public in cinemas are: 

  • A draft or executed bona fide deal memo, letter of offer, or long form agreement for an Australian theatrical release with a theatrical distributor (acting on an arm’s length basis) with a genuine and credible plan for the release of the project in cinemas
  • Financial contribution to the project’s budget from the distributor, such as a distribution advance or guarantee, commensurate with the total budget
  • A financial commitment towards prints & advertising made by the distributor
  • A marketing plan that includes theatrical release and demonstrates a realistic pathway to a cinema audience
  • Financial contribution from an arm’s length investor made on the basis of the project being a feature film
  • Evidence that all cast are engaged under the relevant performers' contracts, with appropriate buy-outs of residual rights, consistent with a feature film
  • A finance plan and budget, including theatrical delivery items, consistent with that of a feature film
  • The track record of the distributor in the theatrical distribution of feature films in Australia, particularly the distribution of Australian feature films
  • The track record of the producer, director, writer and other principals in producing feature films that have received a successful theatrical release in Australia, and
  • The attachment of an international sales agent and any international theatrical pre-sales.

In all cases, the film must be a normal full-length feature film of a type commonly shown in commercial cinemas, and produced in a format suitable for theatrical release as the primary attraction to an audience in commercial cinemas. Cinema-on-demand plans will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with a particular emphasis placed on the pathway to audience identified by the application materials. ‘Four-walled’ arrangements are unlikely to be satisfactory.

Applicants may request Screen Australia assess their claim that the film is a feature film at the provisional certificate stage. If a project has been assessed and, based on the factors above, is not considered to be a feature film, a provisional certificate will be issued on the basis that the feature film format has not yet been established. 

If an applicant would like to seek a re-assessment of the format of their project, they must demonstrate substantial changes since the previous submission.