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24 04 2018 - Media release

Screen Australia provides $3.3 million to local festivals and events

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Warwick Thornton at the Opening Night of the 64th Sydney Film Festival in 2017 / Rocket K Photography

Screen Australia today announced triennial support for 17 key screen industry festivals and events from across the country, sharing $1.1 million per year from 2018/19.

Funding has been allocated to major film festivals in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as those dedicated to serving regional areas and national promotion such as CinéfestOZ and the Flickerfest National Tour. Festivals supporting diversity in front of and behind the camera have also been supported including the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival, plus those championing emerging creators and career promotion like Tropfest.

“As always, we received far more applications than we could possibly fund. In such a rapidly changing environment in terms of how content is consumed, we have prioritised festivals and events that offer the greatest opportunities for Australian drama and documentary creators,” said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia. “These opportunities range from access to large festival audiences, reach outside of a niche audience, substantial professional development, significant prizes that garner international attention, Academy® Award accreditation or the ability to showcase diverse screen stories and creators.”

“We’re particularly excited to support the reimagined Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) which, with the support of Screen Queensland, will now be hosted by the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) Australian Cinémathèque. This is an Australian-first – a cultural institution taking on a film festival. With invaluable resources, industry connections and infrastructure at their disposal, we have no doubt BIFF will become a premier screen cultural event.”

The application process was highly competitive, with the total ask on Screen Australia of $7.1 million over three years from 41 applications, including significant new asks due to the Adelaide Film Festival becoming annual and BIFF returning to the market. Despite budgetary reductions in other program areas across Screen Australia, the same total amount of overall funding has been allocated to festivals and events. The agency retains the right to amend the three year commitment in the event of further funding cuts.

“There is no doubt the festival business is a hard slog, with event organisers needing to become increasingly entrepreneurial in accessing corporate funds and minimising their reliance on government support, recognising that the landscape they work in has fundamentally changed. Those that are targeting younger and new audiences, including new formats and moving away from traditional models of engagement are wisely seeking to future proof themselves, and for this they should be congratulated,” concluded Mason.

The funded events and festivals are:

  • AACTA Awards, honouring excellence and celebrating the achievements of the Australian screen production sector. It is being funded in recognition of the unique role it plays in bringing the attention of the industry to the fore domestically.
  • Access All Areas Film Festival contains four short film program strands that reflect the lived experience of people with a disability. Established in 2015, the festival has quickly expanded from NSW into Tasmania, Victoria, ACT, Queensland and the NT, and through the tour and screenings in schools also aims to raise awareness about cinema access for people with a disability.
  • Adelaide Film Festival is an internationally recognised screen event incorporating features, documentaries, shorts, interactive work and art. The newly annualised event has a reputation for innovation and launching the careers of Australian practitioners, and offers a $1 million film fund to commission new projects.
  • Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Melbourne is Australia’s premier industry event for documentary, factual and unscripted content, featuring a marketplace, forum and screening program. It will be supported to offer business, networking, technical and craft development opportunities, as well as provide a forum for industry debate and discussion.
  • Brisbane International Film Festival will now be hosted by QAGOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque, offering a program showcasing the work of leading Australian and international filmmakers. In partnership with other venues it will offer a program of new release titles alongside screenings with live music, conversations, panel discussions, gala events, industry workshops and more.
  • CinéfestOZ in the South West region of WA is a celebration of Australian filmmaking that includes premieres and events in the region’s cinemas, wineries, small bars and galleries. The festival offers a lucrative film prize of $100,000 – the largest in the country – and has cultivated a reputation as both an industry event and film festival destination.
  • Darwin International Film Festival is the biggest event in the Northern Territory with a program of films and special events, several outdoor gala events and a strong focus on showcasing local, Indigenous and South East Asian content.
  • Flickerfest Film Festival is an Academy® Award and BAFTA accredited competitive international short film festival, held in Bondi Beach, Sydney. The festival’s official accreditation provides local filmmakers with an Australian link to top tier international awards, and has a reputation for kick-starting the careers of emerging filmmakers.
    • Flickerfest National Tour takes highlights from the short film competition to over 52 venues across Australia, including all states and territories. The tour provides audiences in regional Australia the opportunity to engage with international and local screen culture, and the short films with the chance to be seen by a much wider audience.
  • Focus On Ability Short Film Festival presented by NOVA Employment and now in its 10th year, showcases short films and documentaries that challenge people’s fixed beliefs and perceptions about the lives and abilities of people with disabilities around the world.
  • Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) is one of the largest animation film festivals in the world, featuring a showcase of the best new and historical content from Australia and abroad. The festival is being supported to grow their industry program and encourage the continuation and growth of a touring circuit of festivals under the MIAF banner.
  • Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is an internationally recognised event, offering a wide range of top tier content from around the world in addition to the world’s largest showcase of Australian cinema. The festival offers opportunities for filmmakers through numerous industry initiatives, including the Accelerator program for emerging directors.
  • MIFF 37˚South is Australia’s only film co-financing market and runs parallel to MIFF, featuring key international financing executives and professional development opportunities for producers to develop their networks and slates. Along with AIDC, it is one of the largest industry events in Australia and facilitates considerable deal-making opportunities for producers.
  • Revelation Perth International Film Festival is a key WA screen culture event featuring signature-driven works from around the world, art exhibits, talks, workshops and masterclasses. The festival notably has a focus on innovation in screen practice, provides online access, and has expanded their commitment to Australian cinema through the annual event in addition to year-round activities.
  • St Kilda Film Festival is an Academy® Award accredited 10 day event showcasing the top 100 Australian short films alongside development programs, competitions, international screenings and youth content. Now in its 35th year, the festival is known for showcasing up-and-coming filmmakers.
  • Sydney Film Festival is one of the world’s longest running film festivals and is considered a major event on the NSW and Australian cultural calendar, offering 12 days of international and local cinema across greater Sydney. It offers Australian content the chance to be viewed amongst the best in the world, and along with MIFF is one of the largest film festivals in the country.
    • Sydney Travelling Film Festival is Australia’s longest running travelling film festival and brings world class festival quality cinema, including new Australian content, to 19 regional locations.
  • The Other Film Festival is Australia’s only international 100% accessible disability film festival where all content is made by, with, or about, people with disabilities. Containing shorts, documentaries, features, workshops and forums, it is highly regarded for delivering exemplary standards of access including Auslan interpreters, captioning and descriptive audio for all screened films.
  • Tropfest is an internationally renowned short film festival based in Western Sydney, and is one of Australia’s most well-known and attended cultural events. The Festival’s week long programme of screenings, talks, events and awards presentations promotes and celebrates Australian short film talent. Inclusion in Tropfest is considered to be a significant career escalator.

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