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25 10 2010 - Media release

Screen Australia announces the 2010 Enterprise recipients

Screen Australia today announced $3 million in support over three years for five production companies under its Enterprise Program.

The five successful companies are (in alphabetical order):

  • Blackfella Films (Rachel Perkins, Darren Dale)
  • Electric Pictures (Andrew Ogilvie)
  • Great Wight Productions (Andrew Wight, Peter Robinson, Monica Wight)
  • Playmaker Media (David Maher, David Taylor)
  • Wild Fury (Tina Dalton, Veronica Fury, Hugh Marks)

“Screen Australia’s Enterprise program underpins our vision for a more commercially sustainable screen production industry,” said Ruth Harley, Screen Australia’s Chief Executive.

The five successful companies span features, television (in its various genres), documentary and interactive digital platforms. Two have substantial theatrical film links while the other three have cross-platform/library/distribution links. The companies’ plans incorporate strategies for growth including diversification, new partnerships and alliances, marketing and innovative distribution, and expansion across state borders and into international markets.

“The proposals involve some experienced entrepreneurs and newer players. Their business plans show a strong vision for how they can build capacity and achieve ongoing business viability,” Dr Harley said.

Enterprise funding will enable Blackfella Films to broaden its slate by engaging Miranda Dear, previously head of drama at the ABC, as Creative Producer to oversee development of a varied slate of documentary, television drama and features. Funds will also support increased activity in developing domestic and international financing and marketing relationships.
Enterprise funds will accelerate the growth of Electric Pictures’ business and expand its capacity to access new opportunities in the factual market. It will also allow the company to pursue international co-productions and build new financial and production collaborations within Australia and internationally by establishing offices in Sydney and Toronto, Canada.

Great Wight Productions will use Enterprise funds to establish a dedicated 3D production and post base in Melbourne drawing on the expert team that worked with producer Andrew Wight on Australia’s first live-action 3D feature Sanctum. The company’s objective over the next three years is to produce 3D projects in collaboration with James Cameron and build recognition for Australia as a leader in 3D production.

With Enterprise funding, Playmaker will launch its Scribe Initiative – an Australian showrunner-driven drama development program under the mentorship of industry leaders including NCIS/NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer Shane Brennan. The company will also expand its operation to support the development of the next generation of prime-time network drama.

Wild Fury is a new diversified factual production business combining the complementary skills of producers Tina Dalton, Veronica Fury and executive Hugh Marks (ex-CEO Southern Star). Enterprise funding will enable Wild Fury to rapidly expand its capacity by engaging additional creative, production and business personnel, and accelerating the digitisation and marketing of the company’s extensive footage library. Hugh Marks’ involvement creates an opportunity to attract and match private and distribution finance with production opportunities.

CEO Ruth Harley commented that the 12 companies which received Enterprise Program funding in 2009 have made significant progress in expanding their businesses to the next stage. “Funded companies have appointed additional staff such as development executives, heads of production and other creative or support staff. Some have expanded by forming joint ventures or establishing overseas office bases, and a number have succeeded in securing private investment and revolving cashflow facilities.”

The companies have also received numerous awards including Hoodlum’s International Digital Emmy® for its work on Primeval Evolved, Essential Media and Entertainment’s Inside Film (IF) Award for Best Documentary for The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce, and Cordell Jigsaw Productions’ Logie for Bondi Rescue as Most Popular Factual Program.

Funding for the 2010 Enterprise recipients will span three years, from 2010/11 to 2012/13.
The companies were selected from 30 applications by a panel that included screen business development consultants Jonathan Olsberg and Ian Jones as well as CEO Ruth Harley, Screen Australia’s Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships, Chris Oliver and Enterprise Manager Megan McMurchy.

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