South Australian budget plays darts with precise objectives for screen sector

$29.5 million guaranteed to the sector in some key areas over the next half-decade is not to be sneezed at.

The South Australian government budget for 2021-22 is having none of this slushy stuff about general programs. Support is precisely targeted, and for good reason.

The SAFC has been very successful over the last few years in bringing and building businesses, particularly around post-production, so it has been able to give Treasury a lovely set of numbers which were duly appreciated.  

The government has dropped in an extra $29.4 million overall. The Production, Digital and Visual Effects warchest has proved its value and is being continued at the same level for the next five years.

The government has cleaned up an anomaly in which payroll tax was exempt for feature films but not television, by replacing the whole scheme with an additional $6.6 million for the Screen Production Fund. As CEO of the SAFC Kate Croser said, ‘The industry won’t notice anything different but it is very useful.’

After all, as the SAFC points out, the PDV Rebate scheme grew the post production spend in South Australia from $44 million to $66 million in the first year.

According to the release, 

The success of recent South Australian productions has prompted an additional $29.4 million investment to ensure the state continues to be a destination of choice for the production of film, television and digital content.

The funding includes $22.8 million to extend the Post-Production, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Rebate Scheme, introduced this year, to 2024-25 and $6.6 million for the Screen Production Fund.

The PDV initiative provided $2.7 million in 2020-21 and has allocated $2.1 million in 21-22 before increasing to $6 million per year until 24-25.

The Screen Production Fund will provide am indexed $1.6 million a year to the SA Film Corporation to bring the total fund to $3.1 million a year.

The fund supports the production of screen content for the commercial release via theatrical, broadcast or digital platforms that generate significant economic outcomes for the state.

Projects funded under the scheme are expected to be substantially produced and post-produced in SA.

David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.