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MARCH 2013



Ausfilm welcomes Federal Government Announcement of an Additional Incentive to Australia’s Location Offset

Ausfilm welcomes the announcement of an additional incentive to the Location Offset as part of the National Cultural Policy (NCP), which will help keep the Australian film industry competitive internationally. The NCP was announced on the 13/3/13.

The additional $20 million fund to encourage major international production will provide a significant boost to the Australian film industry and the wider Australian economy.

Ausfilm supports a permanent increase to the Location Offset, to ensure Australia’s long term competitiveness for major international production and will continue to advocate for this.

Ausfilm continues to work with its industry members to ensure international film studios, particularly in the US, are looking to Australia as a foremost location for their big budget productions, post-production and visual effects work.


Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby to open Cannes Film Festival

Australian feature film The Great Gatsby from acclaimed filmmaker Baz Luhrmann will open the prestigious 66th Cannes Film Festival on 15 May 2013.

The Great Gatsby is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Australian actor Joel Edgerton. The film also stars Australian actors Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke and Jack Thompson.

In November 2012, Baz Luhrmann, along with his wife Catherine Martin and others, highlighted the importance of the Producer Offset in bringing large-budget feature projects to Australia. He said:

“CM and I give much thought to how valuable our longstanding and deep creative relationships in Australia are, from photography, acting, visual effects, production design and in every other aspect of the filmmaking process. Possibly the greatest filmmaking asset Australia has is our crews and creative collaborators...  Without the Producer Offset, there is simply no way that we could have picked up on and continued the creative relationships that have evolved with us in Australia, and that have so enriched our creative process.”

Baz has also highlighted value of the support from both the Federal and the NSW Governments in bringing The Great Gatsby to film in Sydney and his delight in being able to bring such a large-scale production home.  In a recent ABC radio interview he said:

"It is a testament not only to our crews and to everybody who worked on it, which is pretty much everyone in Sydney, but I think to Sydney itself as a filmmaking centre, to the government who have been really supportive of filmmaking in the country and to the state government. They've been amazing."

The Cannes Film Festival takes place 15–26 May 2013 in France.


Screen NSW Industry and Audience Development Funds are Now open

The following Screen NSW funding rounds are now open for applications:

•Industry Development: Single-Year funding and Multi-Year funding
•Audience Development: Single-Year funding and Multi-Year funding

Full details on guidelines and how to apply can be found on Screen NSW website.



Deadline for applications is: 5PM, Friday 3 MAY 2013.


Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains, NSW


When you think of filming in New South Wales, perhaps Sydney’s beautiful harbour, red outback, glorious beaches, rainforests and Fox Studios flash through your mind.  New South Wales, however, is also the home to the magnificent Snowy Mountains.

5 - 6.5 hours drive (approx. 310 miles) from Sydney, Thredbo is located in the heart of the diverse region of the Snowy Mountains. Set in a valley in the spectacular Kosciuszko National Park, Thredbo is 20 miles from the sub-alpine township of Jindabyne and 62 miles from Cooma, a town set amongst rolling plains, with snow-covered peaks in the distance.

A winter playground, Thredbo is home to the largest snowmaking system in the Southern Hemisphere, long runs, natural on-snow features, a variety of terrain parks, and the highest lifted point.  When not filming, crew can enjoy a range of accommodation, a cool village atmosphere, mix of eateries and entertainment options.

Winter season dates:              June – October
Riding terrains:                        1186 acres
Vertical drops:                         2205 feet
Base elevation:                       4478 feet
Summit elevation:                   6683 feet
Longest run:                            3.6 miles
Average snowfall*:                  79.9 inches
2011 top snow depth*:            64.8 inches
Snowmaking:                          185 acres

Productions that have called the Snowy Mountains region home include: Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne (2006), Cate Shortland’s Somersault (2004), Peter Andikidis’ Heroes’ Mountain (2002) and Fred Zinnermann’s The Sundowners (1960).

For more information:
Screen NSW
+61 2 9995 0973
[email protected]

Susie Diver
Thredbo Communications Manager
+61 2 6459 4100
[email protected]

* Information supplied by Snowy Hydro Ltd - measured from the highest level of snow recorded at Spencers Creek at 6004 feet from the years 1954 to 2011.

Production News

Iloura Creates Emotional Impact on WWII Epic Emperor

Australian VFX studio, Iloura, has helped to recreate a war-torn Japan for the recently released feature film, Emperor; a love story set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II.

Iloura provided on-set VFX supervision for the shoot in both New Zealand and Japan and primarily delivered shots of a war ravaged Tokyo. The VFX studio dedicated 40 artists from its 100 person team to deliver over 140 VFX shots including 3D matte paintings, background enhancements, green screen compositing and CG aeroplanes.

Iloura’s involvement on Emperor required the team to apply quite different creative and technical disciplines than that of its recent 3D character animation work on Seth MacFarlane’s Ted for which they were widely celebrated. Recreating a post-war city with minimal historical images as a reference was challenging, but the team loves the diversity of projects that the US Studios are offering up to them with the crew currently hard at work on Sony Columbia’s After Earth.

Emperor met the requirements for the Australian Government’s PDV Offset (Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offset) and the Victorian State Government’s PIAF Grant, administered through Screen Agency Film Victoria; and follows on from Iloura’s recent credits including international box office success Ted (directed by Seth MacFarlane) and Sony Columbia’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

Iloura is a division of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc.


Screen Australia invests in 10 Documentaries

Screen Australia is investing A$2.3m (US$2.4m) in 10 documentaries for broadcasters including SBS, ABC, Discovery and Smithsonian.

The investment in two series and eight-one off docs has triggered A$8m worth of production.
Included on the slate is Afghanistan: The Australian War, written and directed by Victoria Midwinter-Pitt and produced by Alan Erson. The series will air on ABC and look at the complete story of Australia’s longest and most expensive foreign war.

ABC has also secured funding for four one-offs, Bodyline: The Ultimate Test looks at the infamous Bodyline test cricket series of 1932/33 between Australia and England. It’s being produced by Serendipity West and will air on ABC1. ABC and BBC Imagine are on board for architecture special Frank Gehry’s Treehouse from Essential Media and Entertainment.

Historical invention special The Boffin, The Builder and The Bombardier from Bearcage Television and For Valour; and Mary & Mohammad from Jotz productions about a group of elderly Christians who decide to knit hats for inmates at an immigration detention centre are also being funded.

Funding has also gone to two projects with international broadcasters attached. JFK: The Smoking Gun is being produced by Cordell Jigsaw Productions and Muse Entertainment for SBS, Discovery Canada and Reelz Channel in the US.

Contemporary science series Tales of the Unexpected for SBS and Smithsonian Networks is being produced by Genepool Productions.

Other shows to receive backing include The Real Jaws, for Nine, extreme motoring show Trucking Hell, for Seven, and The Tipping Points: Oceans The Last Frontier, for the National Indigenous Television Network.


These Final Hours and The Turning at Melbourne International Film Festival

Apocalyptic thriller, These Final Hours from Western Australian writer/director Zak Hilditch and producer Liz Kearney has been announced along with Robert Connolly's 17-part feature, The Turning to premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). The two projects join an impressive line-up of Australian premieres as a result of MIFF's Premiere Fund. The festival runs from 25 July - 11 August 2013.

These Final Hours was the recipient of ScreenWest's West Coast Visions in May 2011. Zak previously directed three independent feature films, The Actress, Plum Role and The Toll and together with Liz made the acclaimed short film, Transmission as part of Screen Australia's Springboard Program in 2010.

These Final Hours follows James, who while making his way to the party to end all parties on the last day on Earth, ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father, leading him on the path to redemption.

The film stars Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek), Daniel Henshall (Snowtown), Jessica De Gouw (Kath & Kimderella), Sarah Snook (Not Suitable for Children) and newcomer, Angourie Rice (Transmission).

The Turning is based on a collection of short stories by West Australian writer, Tim Winton and 6 of the 17 stories were filmed in WA. High profile directors on the project include, Tony Ayres, Justin Kurzel, Claire McCarthy, Cate Blanchett, David Wenham and Mia Wasikowska.

ScreenWest and Lotterywest are proud supporters of These Final Hours and The Turning.


Adam Zwar to Host the 2013 ADG Awards

Multi-talented actor, writer, director and producer Adam Zwar will host the 2013 ADG Awards to be held in Sydney on May 3.

The Australian Directors’ Guild has announced that, due to the demand for tickets to last year’s event, the Awards will this year be held at a new and larger venue - Hoyts Cinemas at the Entertainment Quarter - with a dinner to follow at the nearby Trackdown Studios.

For the first time, tickets will be available to the ceremony only as well as the traditional option of ceremony and dinner.

Tickets to attend can be purchased here.

The categories in the 2013 ADG Awards are:
Feature Film, Telemovie, Animation, Documentary Standalone, Documentary Feature, Documentary Series, TV Drama Series, TV Mini Series, TV Drama Serial, TV Comedy, TV Reality / light entertainment, Esben Storm Award for Best Direction in a Children’s TV Program, Cross Platform project, Original online project, TVC, Short film,  Music video, Student, Finders Award and the First Assistant Director Award.

Ausfilm Members