Call to form task force to lobby government

Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi today urged the screen industry guilds to take the lead to devise a comprehensive plan to “sell” to the federal government before the 2016 election.

In her welcome address to the Screen Forever conference Tosi listed a number of challenges facing the industry including funding cuts to the ABC, SBS and Screen Australia, piracy, the uncompetitive location offset and the producer offset which she says requires a few tweaks in the digital era.

She also criticised the MEAA for insisting on what she described as “outdated cast importation requirements” and workplace penalty rates including those for overtime rates and travelling allowances.

Relatively low license fees from broadcasters, static commissions and proportionately more imported content than is desirable were also cited.

“We need a strategic, concerted and united effort,” she said. The public has not voiced concerns about keeping the high level of  Australian content on screen because they are not aware it is seriously at risk..
Observing that federal and state agencies cannot take the lead on these issues, she told attendees, “It has to come from you, the practitioners and businesses.”

Recalling the TV Make it Australia campaign spearheaded by Hector Crawford, other producers and actors many years ago, she suggested it's time for a Take 2 campaign.

Lest her speech be seen as worthy words that don’t lead anywhere, Tosi told IF she will advocate the guilds take the lead and form a task force which will spend 2015 devising a plan to present to government in early 2016.

She will raise the subject at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon of state and federal agencies.. She intends to tell her colleagues, “We should not leave this room without a plan of action.”