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JUNE / JULY 2013


New appointments at Screen Australia

The Minister for the Arts, The Hon.Tony Burke and the Board of Screen Australia have announced the appointment of Mr Graeme Mason as the new Chief Executive Officer of Screen Australia. Mr Mason will commence his new role in November.

Screen Australia also welcomes the appointment of Deanne Weir as Deputy Chair, and Rosemary Blight and Joan Peters as new members of the agency's Board.

30 June 2013 marked the conclusion of inaugural Board member and Deputy Chair Ian Robertson's time on the Screen Australia Board.

The Chair of Screen Australia, Glen Boreham, made the following statement:

“I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Ian Robertson for his significant contribution over the past five years and his immense support to me since Screen Australia’s foundation in 2008. Ian also chaired Screen Australia’s audit committee from its inception and we had the great benefit of his extensive legal experience.”


Congratulations to The Great Gatsby on a record breaking opening weekend for an Australian Film

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby recorded the biggest opening weekend for an Australian movie domestically, grossing $6.79 million at the local box office. Preview screenings boosted this total to $7.22 million.

The film, distributed by Roadshow Films in Australia has currently made $26.79 Million (AUD) at the box office and worldwide the film has ranked close to $330 Million (USD).       

Ausfilm members who worked on the film include: Animal Logic, Cutting Edge, Deluxe StageOne Sound, Fox Production Services, Fox Studios Australia, Fox Lighting, Iloura, Method Studios, Panavision, Rising Sun Pictures, Screen NSW, Showfilm, Screen Australia, Trackdown and Warner Bros. Productions Australia Pty Ltd.


Producer Offset now includes definition of ‘documentary’

The amendments to include a definition of ‘documentary’ in the legislation governing the Producer Offset have now become law, with the amending legislation receiving Royal Assent on 28 June 2013.

Subsection 376-25(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, as amended, now states:
A film is a documentary if the film is a creative treatment of actuality, having regard to:
(a)   the extent and purpose of any contrived situation featured in the film; and
(b)   the extent to which the film explores an idea or a theme; and
(c)   the extent to which the film has an overall narrative structure; and
(d)   any other relevant matters.

For more information on the definition of ‘documentary’ please visit the Screen Australian website here.


Film Victoria welcomes Ross Hutchens as the new of Head of Screen Industry Programs

Ross brings a wealth of development, production and business experience to the position, having been a producer and partner in the highly successful production company Media World Pictures, which has been producing content out of Victoria and Western Australia for the past 13 years.

Ross has a diverse range of producing credits including the internationally acclaimed mini-series, The Circuit, comedy feature Stone Bros., documentary feature Anthem, and children’s animation series Dogstar with producing partner Colin South.


Four Australian features selected for Toronto Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival has unveiled a first wave of titles to screen, including new Australian features by Jonathan Teplitzky, Matthew Saville, Ivan Sen and John Curran.

Jonathan Teplitzky’s Second World War drama The Railway Man, starring Oscar® winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, will have its world premiere as part of the Gala Presentations program, the festival’s high-profile sidebar. The Australian-UK co-production feature is produced by Andy Paterson, Chris Brown and Bill Curbishley.

Matthew Saville’s thriller Felony will have its world premiere as part of the festival’s Special Presentations program. The film is produced by Rosemary Blight, Michael Benaroya and Joel Edgerton, and stars Tom Wilkinson, Melissa George and Jai Courtney.

John Curran’s Tracks will screen in a Special Presentation. The film is produced by Oscar® winner Emile Sherman and Iain Canning and is co-produced by Antonia Barnard and Julie Ryan.

Mystery Road, Ivan Sen’s murder mystery produced by David Jowsey will also receive a Special Presentation slot at the festival.

The Toronto International Film Festival will take place 5th to 15th September 2013.

For more information please visit http://tiff.net/thefestival


Film Victoria invests $1.2 million in local film and TV projects

Film Victoria has invested more than $1.2 million in seven local film and TV projects in the final funding round of the 2012/13 financial year.

The Earth Wins – Documentary feature film, Helifilms Australia
Electric Boogaloo – Documentary feature film, Wild Fury
Body Line: The Ultimate Test – Documentary one-off for television, Serendipity West
Judith Lucy is all Woman – Documentary one-off for television, Bearded Lady Productions
Jack Irish: Dead Point – Telemovie, Essential Media and Entertainment
Offspring: Series five – Television series, Southern Star Entertainment
The Doctor Blake Mysteries: Series two – Television series, December Media

The projects are estimated to spend $26.9 million in Victoria and create around 950 jobs.


Iloura creates realistic creatures and comprehensive environments on After Earth.

Melbourne VFX studio, Iloura completed 150 shots on Columbia Pictures’ latest sci-fi film. After Earth was a rewarding project and the Iloura team are proud of the result, “working on an M. Night Shyamalan / Will Smith film of such calibre was a thrill in itself, but that, coupled with the relationship we continue to foster with the team at Creative Cartel and Jonathan Rothbart, made it a gratifying project. Jonathan Rothbart has an excellent eye and with him I think we pushed ourselves further than any film before”, said Glenn Melenhorst, VFX Supervisor.

Jonathan Rothbart, VFX Supervisor, After Earth, reflects on Iloura’s involvement on the production: "After Earth Had a variety of different visual effects. We had to create environments on other worlds that required a lot of post design, matte paintings that needed to be integrated into very lush and complex locations, a host of unique photo real creatures and all manner of FX animation. I felt fortunate to have Iloura on the show.  They were able to provide the film with some amazing work in all of these disciplines while keeping a consistent look, as it was all done at the same place”.


Cutting Edge Hosts Gatsby Advance Screening

To celebrate their involvement in The Great Gatsby on the 28th of May, Cutting Edge held an exclusive advance screening at the Entertainment Quarter, Sydney.

Around 200 of the film and advertising industry’s leading lights were in attendance, and the general consensus was that Baz had once again delivered something special.

Andrew Knox, Cutting Edge General Manager Sydney, said that Cutting Edge was honoured to have been a part of the The Great Gatsby project.

“This film is a visual masterpiece and we love everything about it Baz, his team and Simon Duggan are true geniuses so we wanted to share that feeling with as many people as we could,” he said.


Perth born, James Mackay wins Heath Ledger Scholarship

Western Australian actor, James Mackay is the 2013 recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship which was announced in Los Angeles on 12 June 2013 at the 5th annual fundraising dinner for ‘Australians in Film'.

Established in 2008, the scholarship was set up in memory of Perth born actor, Heath Ledger and provides the lucky recipient with an opportunity to establish themselves in Los Angeles and to reach an international audience.

A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), James has appeared in several television roles and feature films including Don't Be Afraid of the Dark opposite Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce and the upcoming feature, Singularity alongside Josh Hartnett.

Previous recipients of the scholarship include Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), Ryan Corr (Not Suitable for Children), Oliver Ackland (Wasted on the Young, Cloudstreet) and Anna McGahan (House Husbands).


Broome, Western Australia


Distance from Capital City
Broome is 2,229 kilometres from Western Australia’s capital city Perth, and a 2.5 hour flight.

About Broome
Affectionately known as the 'pearl of the north', Broome is the home of South Sea pearls - among the largest and most coveted commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world. Their discovery in the 1800s fuelled a mass migration almost as epic as the gold rush. Japanese, Filipino and Malay pearl divers arrived in droves seeking their fortune, creating a melting pot of cultures that makes Broome the multicultural town it is today.

Production Credits
Castaway (TV Series – 2010), Bran Nue Dae (Feature Film – 2009), Stormworld (TV Series – 2009), and Trapped (TV Series – 2008).

Fun Fact
Broome’s cinema, Sun Pictures is the oldest operating outdoor cinema in the world.

Want more information?
Visit the Tourism Western Australia website for further information on Broome www.westernaustralia.com

Production News

Screen Australia announces funding for new feature projects

Screen Australia announced on 12 July 2013, over $570,000 in funding to support 19 filmmaking teams to develop their feature film projects.

The team behind The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, writer/director Stephan Elliott and producer Al Clark, will be supported to develop their new comedy Flammable Children.

Writer/director Jacqueline McKenzie will develop her drama King: A Street Story with producer Robert Coe and executive producers Jocelyn Moorhouse and Timothy White.

Writer Melina Marchetta will be supported to adapt her bestselling novel for the screen, the mystery romance On the Jellicoe Road, with producers Sue Taylor and Rosemary Blight. Kate Woods is attached to direct.

Pest Control is an action comedy script from writer/director Christopher Weekes and producers Jamie Hilton and Michael Pontin about a city that finds itself overrun with monsters, with the only hope of survival resting with an all-woman team of pest controllers.

Red Earth is a drama set in frontier Queensland in 1882, about a Chinese bride desperate to escape her arranged marriage. It will be developed by writer/director Liselle Mei and producers Trish Lake and Dan Lake.

Producer Michelle Harrison will option the novel Playground Duty by author Ned Manning.

See the full list on Screen Australia’s website here.


Village Roadshow Studios update

Village Roadshow Studios has welcomed the recent resurgence of filming on the Gold Coast with Drive Hard starring John Cusack.

The production will provide a boost to the local economy with around $5 million being spent on the Gold Coast generating much needed work for local actors and crew.

John Cusack and Thomas Jane are starring in the movie alongside many Australian actors including Carol Burns, Zoe Ventoura, Damien Garvey and Christopher Morris, and all cast by Tom McSweeney at his Village Roadshow Studio offices.

In other news Lynn Paetz from Prep Shoot post, who is based at Village Roadshow Studios, has been doing post accounting for 3 Marvel projects that did some of their visual VFX in Australia.  ThorCaptain America and more recently Iron Man  only post accounting for the Australian portion and is currently working on The Railway Man that was based at Village Roadshow Studios due to be released.

Village Roadshow Studios also welcomes The New York Film Academy which now has a facility in Australia recently opening at the Studios.


The Rover gets U.S Distribution

A24 has acquired U.S. rights to the Australian futuristic thriller The Rover starring Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce.

Roadshow Films will release the film in Australia, scripted by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) based on a story he conceived with Joel Edgerton.

The film is set in a world where life is cheap a decade after the collapse of the western economic system. Pearce portrays a loner traveling in the desolate Australian outback, where a gang of thieves steal his car and leave behind a wounded member, played by Pattinson, who is then forced to help track down the gang.

The film was shot in the deserts of South Australia earlier this year and is currently in post-production in Sydney, NSW.

The Rover received support  from Ausfilm members Screen Australia, the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen NSW.

The film is set for Australian release early 2014.

Ausfilm Members