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Media Centre

02 11 2011 - Media release

Nine in 10 Australians think local screen stories are important

Screen Australia today released new findings from a survey revealing 91 per cent of Australians believe it’s important that the country has a local film and television industry that creates Australian stories. Their biggest concern was to ensure that Australian culture isn’t swamped by Hollywood content.

A delegation of film and television industry heavyweights including directors Gillian Armstrong and Stephan Elliott and actor Sigrid Thornton will visit Canberra today to voice their support for Australian content on Australian screens in light of the Government’s Convergence Review and Cultural Policy Discussion Paper.

Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley said, “This new research demonstrates the value Australians place on Australian content and how important our stories are to the cultural fabric of our society. While we acknowledge the tangible economic benefits of the screen industry, we must also acknowledge the myriad of ways that Australian stories contribute to our social belonging and sense of national identity.”

Screen Australia’s survey found that four out of five respondents believed Australian screen stories were vital to Australia’s sense of national identity and one out of five believed that the most important benefit of these stories was to ‘make sure that Australian culture isn’t overwhelmed by American culture’. This was followed by recognition of the employment opportunities that the industry brings, as well as ensuring that Australia’s stories and important events from the past are told and recorded, each nominated by 13 per cent of respondents.

The findings measuring attitudes towards Australian content were taken last month from a survey of 1,000 Australians aged 14 years and over.

Screen Australia also launched Celebrate Australian Stories this week, a social media campaign with an online clip highlighting the cultural significance of Australian stories. To kick start the discussion the survey included a question asking respondents to nominate their favourite Australian movie quotes. Regardless of age and gender Crocodile Dundee is still top of mind with 34 per cent of people stating that the most memorable line from an Australian film was Paul Hogan’s quote, ‘That’s not a knife... THAT’s a knife’.

“While a dialogue is important between industry and government, so too is continuing the conversation with the Australian public, and Screen Australia has launched a social media campaign around the theme ‘Celebrate Australian Stories’, to do just this,” said Dr Harley.

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Jessica Parry | Senior Publicist

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