Screen News in Brief: A new vision from SPA, plus rescues, reprieves and cuts

Festivals, film openings and awards continue. This fortnight's eclectic roundup shows an industry pivoting painfully, but still alive and planning for the future.

SPA Proposes New Vision for the Australian Screen Industry

  • Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has today released its submission to the Government’s reform options paper, Supporting Australian Stories on Our Screens. The proposed long term model calls for firm and measurable growth targets that double employment and production of Australian content in the industry in the five year period from implementation.
  • The proposed model calls for the incorporation of new streaming platforms into the regulatory mix, and a platform-neutral 40 per cent Producer Offset for significant Australian content (scripted and documentary), with a 30 per cent rate available for a broader range of content and the Location and Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Offsets.
  • The submission also addresses the need for a new paradigm for children’s content and proposes a set of minimum requirements for our public broadcasters and measures to enhance producers’ ability to retain and exploit IP.
  • SPA’s full submission can be downloaded here [PDF], and its reform roadmap summary is here [PDF]. 

COVID-safe Guidelines for Production are intense

  • Production is slowly getting underway again, though ‘slowly’ may be the operative word. If you haven’t yet checked out the excellent and very necessary Australian Screen Production Industry Covid-safe Guidelines (released in May) then this document [PDF] is certainly worth a browse to get a picture of what has to happen, and how it might add centuries to a schedule and nightmares to a budget. All caution is essential, but wow, what a hassle. (Pages 19 – 30 get into the nitty gritty of every department’s work.)

Cinemas open doors a crack. Australian films peek through

  • This week at the box office: growing signs of life – though drive-ins may prove necessary in some states for a while.
  • The most anticipated Australian films of 2020 updated for COVID-19. From Relic to Rams, Slim and I and Babyteeth, our updated list has info on films to look out for on socially distanced screens.
  • On our radar now, there’s Alkinos Tsimilidos’ latest black comedy, The Taverna opening today (Palace Cinemas & Classic, 2 July). Also showing around the place, Kriv Stenders’ Brock: Over the Top, Ben Lawrence’s Hearts and Bones, Maya Newell’s In My Blood it Runs and Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man keeps on keeping on. Coming up soon, Natalie Erika James’ Relic (Stan, 10 July) and Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth (23 July).

Rescues & Reprieves

ABC: Cuts are deep, but there’s audio description

SBS gets new Head of Indigenous Content

  • Tanya Denning Orman is now SBS Head of Indigenous Content. This is a new role, added to her current role of channel manager at NITV, and she will oversee the development and delivery of First Nations storytelling across the SBS network.

Read more: Setting the tone for ‘Australia Day’: NITV leads the way

What’s next for Australian TV? Online forum

  • This looks interesting, and it’s on Tonight, Thursday 2 July Live: 7pm – 8.30pm. After a year of unpredictable events, what happens now for broadcasters? Australia’s leading broadcasters including Nine Network, SBS, ABC, NITV and Network 10 are coming together to take stock following the recent months of upheaval across the screen industry. Sharing their insights into what lies ahead for their businesses and for the country’s ravaged production sector are: Adrian Swift, Nine Network Head of Production and Development; Marshall Heald, Director TV and Online Content SBS; Tanya Denning-Orman, Channel Manager, NITV; Michael Carrington, Director, Entertainment and Specialist, ABC; Daniel Monaghan, Head of Programming, Network Ten. Running Free Live: The Comeback Hosted by Denise Eriksen, Co-Founder of Media Mentors Australia. JOIN HERE.

Games News

Festivals & Exhibitions


SCROZ Announcements 

  • Screen Australia has announced new board appointment. The Morrison Government has appointed Mr Peter Davey as a member of the board for a term of three years. He is a lawyer, corporate advisor and strategy consultant specialising in Entertainment, Media and Technology, with former MD roles at Village Roadshow and ITV Australia. Joanna Werner has also been reappointed for three years, and Megan Brownlow (Deputy Chair) has been reappointed for one year. The eight-member board also includes Nicholas Moore (Chair), Michael Hawkins, Claudia Karvan, Richard King and Deborah Mailman AM.
  • Screen Australia has announced the creators and shapers involved in the new Impact Australia eight-week accelerator program, now underway. Participating in the Australian offshoot of US Imagine Impact (created by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tyler Mitchell) are writer-mentors (or shapers): Sarah Heyward, Shaun Grant, Kai Wu, Stuart Beattie, Jason Smilovic. The participants are 14 Creators from across Australia working on 10 projects: Carrie Anderson (NSW) – Bound (TV Hour); Luke Goodall (VIC) + Marc Gallagher (VIC) – Robots Inc. (TV Half Hour); Sukhjit Khalsa (WA) + Perun Bonser (WA) – One of the Good Ones (TV Half Hour); Catherine Kelleher (NSW) – Iron Mountain (TV Hour); Megan Palinkas (VIC) + Sam Barrett (VIC) – Terminus (TV Hour); Emma Dockery (VIC) – The Party Line (TV Half Hour); Lucy Coleman (NSW) – Exposure (TV Half Hour); Henry Boffin (VIC) – Before The Dying Light (Feature); Jessica Harris (VIC) – The Bloomers (TV Half Hour); Brendan Fletcher (NSW) + Devi Telfer (QLD) – Taronga (Feature Film).

AACTA Awards Open for Entries, with reduced fees

  • Entries are now open for the 2020 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel. Entries are invited from across television, film, documentary, online and short form categories, with VFX entries to be opened soon.
  • Due to the hardships of this year, entry fees have been reduced across all categories and film eligibility had been updated to include films which had the intent to release this year, regardless of whether they were shown in cinemas. Full details here.

Around the web

About the Author
ScreenHub​ is the online home for emerging and experienced Australian screen professionals.