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05 10 2010 - Media release

Co-production with Australia – It Pays!

In releasing revised and more flexible co-production guidelines as part of the Working with Australia Workshop at MIPCOM, Fiona Cameron, Screen Australia’s Head of Strategy and Operations, said the benefits of working with Australians included access to a unique talent pool and the legislated certainty of the Producer Offset tax rebate.

“We have deliberately revised our guidelines for official co-productions with the objective of being more flexible to encourage more production. A new expanded points test recognises the reality of contemporary filmmaking and gives credit to Heads of Department not previously allocated points, such as the VFX supervisor, costume designer, sound designer and, in the context of animation, the key model designer. Of course, it’s no small thing that co-productions automatically bypass the Significant Australian Content test ruling them eligible for the Producer Offset – a 40% rebate for feature films and 20% for TV and documentary,” Ms Cameron said.

Other key changes include:

  • subject to the terms of the relevant treaty or MOU, scope to recognise non-party writers where previously such projects would have been deemed ineligible
  • the introduction of a letter of preliminary compliance to provide support when accessing finance
  • the introduction of greater expenditure flexibility relative to finance.

In addition, the guidelines themselves are much more user-friendly and now provide context to the rules they set out.

Co-productions give Australian film and television makers, Australian actors, crew and creative teams opportunities to connect globally and take great stories to international audiences. 

“Australia has a world class screen production industry and we don’t want to be hiding it under a bushel,” Ms Cameron added.

Screen Australia administers the International Co-production Program and the Producer Offset. Australia has treaties with the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Singapore and China and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with France and New Zealand.

Screen Australia released draft revised co-production guidelines in June 2010 and has spent the last three months consulting with the Australian guilds and individual practitioners.

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