Producers rally support for bushfire affected communities

For many of Australia’s rural and regional communities, 2019 ended with fire ravaging their homes and businesses. Countless small business owners from these areas have now lost the vital holiday trade that keeps them going for the rest of the year.

As we move into 2020, Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has put out a call to the film, television and new media production industry to aid in a community-led recovery effort by choosing to ‘Produce Here This Year’.

The campaign, inspired by Business Events Australia’s ‘Event Here This Year’, is aimed at rallying Australian production businesses to choose fire and drought affected areas, as well as crew members from these regions, when planning upcoming shoots.

“Just like in the production sector, small businesses are the lifeblood of regional communities. Australian production businesses find themselves in the privileged position of being able to help keep the commercial prospects of our fellow resilient small businesses alive and keep locals employed by choosing Australia this year,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

“It is well known that screen production in Australia is a large and diverse ecosystem that makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. Our Screen Production in Australia report shows that in 2018 alone the industry generated $1.2 billion in production revenue and supported more than 13,000 roles.

When screen production comes to a regional area, the benefits are varied and abundant: accommodation, food and fuel sales, employment and the consumption of goods and services. Although screen production takes place in specific areas, it has State-wide benefits: employment, training, trade and the supply of goods and services.

In addition, the stories that result bring images of the local community to Australians in other states and territories and to the world at large. As the #MakeItAustralian campaign has consistently demonstrated, our nation has a long and proud history of storytelling that has helped to shape Australian culture, and no-one except us could authentically tell stories of the diversity of Australian experiences in our unique Australian landscapes.

Moreover, as collaboration lies at the heart of all successful filmmaking – not only amongst the cast and crew, but also between the filmmakers and the local residents, council, businesses and Government agencies – this approach puts the affected community in control of their own recovery.”

SPA has extended the call to international productions looking for a home base.

“In the spirit of solidarity, we invite filmmakers from across the globe to explore Australia’s world-class filming locations, depth of experienced crews, award-winning talent and competitive production incentives,” continued Deaner.

Ausfilm has already collated a list, to be updated regularly, of safe Australian filming locations. Local filmmakers are also advised to use this opportunity to apply for funding under the regional film funds offered by many Government agencies including Screen NSW.

Source: Screen Producers Australia