Cloncurry Council announces film incentive program

Madeleine and Luke Chaplain. (Image: Peter Wallis)

Cloncurry Shire Council has joined City of Gold Coast in actively encouraging producers to shoot in its municipality, committing $100,000 to a film incentive program.

Having housed the sixth season of Australian Survivor, the North West Queensland locality is now hoping more projects make use of its outback surroundings.

The funds, announced as part of the council’s 2022/23 budget, will be available to registered production businesses interested in using Cloncurry as the location for short films, pilots, series, and feature films.

Applications for the program must include a pitch document and business certification, as well as a budget detailing direct benefit to the local community, with funding amounts dependent on negotiations.

Cloncurry Shire Mayor Greg Campbell encouraged filmmakers to make the most of his council’s support.

“Cloncurry has a truly unqiue landscape and is one of few places that can offer extraordinary terrain, open plains and waterways all in one location,” he said.

“It also offers a range of local businesses that are able to support filmmaking in the region.

“We are the only small local government offering financial incentives to film in the Shire, and as a council we are committed to this program as we can see the benefit it brings to our community.”

Cloncurry Shire Mayor Greg Campbell. (Image: Peter Wallis)

An early recipient of the funding is short film The Bank Manager from Quamby Studios’ Luke and Madeleine Chaplain.

The pair serve as writers, producers, and actors in the comedic drama based on the 1932 Cloncurry bank robbery, starring alongside an all-Queensland cast, including Gyton Grantley, Jason Wilder, Paula Nazarski, and Jordan Abbey-Young.

An estimated $40,000 was spent directly in the region as a result of the five day shoot, while 50 extras and 10 crew were sourced locally.

Luke Chaplain, who along with his sister grew up on Malakoff Station outside Cloncurry, described the film incentive program as quite revolutionary.

“It’s been a collaborative approach from the very beginning,” he said.

“[The council’s] willingness to pivot and adapt is a huge incentive for filmmakers. This problem-solving attitude, along with the region’s diversity of architecture and landscapes, makes it the perfect filming location.”

Screen Queensland chief creative officer Belinda Burns said the program was a “shining example” of the agency’s commitment to working with regional councils to build Queensland’s reputation as a film-friendly state.

“The introduction of the film incentive cements the council’s readiness to engage with screen producers to bring economic and employment benefits to the people of Cloncurry,” she said.

“It builds on the positive experiences the screen industry has enjoyed in the region, established through productions like Australian Survivor, and Screen Queensland is pleased to support opportunities for more filmmaking to take place in the Cloncurry Shire.”

Find out more information here.