The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is getting behind the Hunter’s burgeoning screen industry with support for screen projects, local film festivals and professional development activities, Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, said today.
Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant was joined by CEO Hunter Councils Roger Stefan, Chair of Hunter Council’s, Mayor Peter Blackmore and Screen Hunter’s Annette Hubber to announce that the Hunter will enjoy an investment of $92,500 in screen funding.
Mr Grant said Screen NSW would invest $7,500 in seed funding to assess the capacity of the screen sector in the Hunter with a view to creating a three-year program that will build the capacity of the region’s screen content producers.
“NSW is Australia’s undisputed film and television production hub. We have first class cast and production crews, leading creative and digital skills, and a Government that backs its screen industry,” Mr Grant said.
“The Hunter region is busy with production companies filming television commercials and Screen Hunter is active in assisting with filming approvals, location scouting, and sourcing of local crew, services and support.
“We want to see more screen practitioners from the Hunter telling their stories and potentially also filming in the region, just as Maitland filmmaker, Behren Schulz has done with his production, Love is Now filming here last month.
“Screen NSW is backing Love is Now through its Regional Filming Fund with the production creating 103 jobs and a regional spend of more than $291,000.”
Mr Grant said funding screen productions helps to provide opportunities for local cast and crew, while professional development programs bolster this support with access to skills development.
“The $7,500 in seed funding will go towards analysing the capacity of the screen industry in the Hunter, including crew roles, skills levels, industry experience and credits, productions in development, resources and facilities.
“Screen NSW, in partnership with Screen Hunter, will establish a comprehensive three-year professional development program designed to boost the level of local production and locally-created screen jobs as well as driving economic benefits for the Hunter region.”
Mr Grant said the Hunter screen industry development program would provide opportunities for local screen practitioners to access highly skilled speakers and mentors, along with current industry information and practices.
“The program will help newcomers to the industry to tap into the existing knowledge base and encourage greater use of collaborative working relationships between emerging and experienced practitioners in the region,” Mr Grant said.
Member for Maitland Robyn Parker said Screen NSW support for the sector is helping the industry to extend its reach to new audiences.
“We’re helping to build local audiences by supporting festivals that make film more accessible to people across NSW.
“Screen NSW will provide $5,000 through its Audience Development Fund to Screen Hunter Central Coast for the Real Film Festival in November 2014 which is a fantastic injection for our community and local economy.
“This three-day festival fosters and showcases the art of telling the stories of real events through film. It also offers industry development workshops, short film competitions and screenings of independent short, documentary and feature films,” Ms Parker said.
For more information on Screen NSW’s support for the State’s screen industry, visit www.screen.nsw.gov.au