Jub Clerc, first look photo of The Furnace, 100% Wolf © 2019 Flying Bark Productions Pty Ltd, Screenwest (Australia) Ltd, Create NSW, De-Fi Media Ltd, Siamese Pty Ltd and Screen Australia.
Momentum Builds– CEO Wrap October
What a quarter! Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Western Australian screen industry was buoyed by the support of Screenwest and its partners, the State Government of Western Australia and Lotterywest. As momentum builds, the Western Australian screen industry sits on the precipice of significant growth, which presents new opportunities for professional and creative development.
The green shoots of drama production now blossom and Western Australian stories continue to reach global audiences.
While the Documentary sector has continued filming in a COVID-safe environment, we are thrilled ABC television series ITCH produced by Komixx Entertainment recommenced production for its second season this week. This starts a significant timeline of production for the state and has created jobs for the local industry. Support through the Western Australian Regional Film Fund (now the Western Australian Screen Fund) will see filming of ITCH take place in the Peel and Great Southern regions.
Pre-production for Arenamedia’s Blueback is in full swing as we anticipate principal photography will commence in early 2021 and, the funding greenlight from Screenwest and Screen Australia means Jub Clerc’s debut feature film as writer director, Sweet As, is currently slated for production in mid-2021.
Feature film The Furnace, written and directed by Roderick MacKay and produced by The Koop was the only Australian feature film to screen at the Venice Film Festival in August. The production, which was shot in the Mid West and Pilbara regions delivered over 2,400 bed nights in Mount Magnet and contributed significantly to the local economy.
This film which was also supported through the Western Australian Regional Film Fund, reinforces the demand for and strategic leveraging of this funding, and highlights the considerable economic benefits and hopefully follow-on film tourism results from this initial investment.
100% Wolf which Siamese post-produced in Western Australia released to premium-on-demand, and was in the top ten highest grossing films in Spain as it opened in its first week across 136 cinemas in September.
Revelation International Film Festival pivoted to deliver it’s Couched program entirely online, while CinefestOZ took advantage of brilliant timing to showcase Western Australian features Dirt Music and Rams showcase some brilliant Western Australian short films. Screenwest and Lotterywest supported films Doug the Human and Carmentis were both recognised with awards.
Visionary Decisions for a Bright Future
The State Government of Western Australia announced the call for market led proposals for studio infrastructure, which is a magnificent leap forward for the state and an acknowledgement of the economic benefit of the local industry and film production in WA. The assessment process of these proposals has commenced, and we look forward to sharing news of the State Government’s decision in the near future.
With producers from around Australia and the globe knocking down WA’s door to film here, Screenwest is working on a production attraction proposal to enable the State to attract more films and therefore, more investment from visiting productions.
We expanded the Western Australian Screen Fund to include the most competitive post- production, digital and visual effects incentive in the state. This coupled with the call for studio infrastructure, means Western Australia will be positioned to accommodate projects throughout their production lifespan, and ensure jobs are created, and crew and creatives can remain in the state.
Screenwest’s next focus will be on working with the Industry Advisory Group and other Australian Screen Agencies to communicate the impacts of the Federal Government’s recent announcement to changes in incentive schemes and broadcast quotas.
Driving the Industry Forward
The Western Australian Screen Industry Health Check, which was started pre-COVID has now been finalised and key findings will be presented to the screen industry and our stakeholders within the coming weeks.
As we set our sights to the future, Screenwest has also formed a working group to discuss potential partners to further assist the growth and development of our industry. Early planning has been exceptionally promising, and Screenwest has a clear vision for communicating the benefits the Western Australian Screen Industry brings to WA and attracting new supporters.
Our strategic planning process is also coming to a close. The final preparations are being made to the draft strategic plan and Screenwest will schedule a formal announcement to industry outlining the bold, future direction for the agency to best support and drive the growth of the industry.
Screenwest’s focus on strategic outcomes for the future of the industry sets in place solid foundations from which to build.
Listen to our podcast – In Conversation with Screenwest for a behind the scenes look at the world of screen production as world-class film, television, documentary and digital media practitioners share their experiences, insight and expertise.
View the WA Screen Industry Calendar to see what’s happening in the screen industry in Western Australia.