Christmas has come early for Victorian screen practitioners.

Yesterday a new program was announced that would give screen practitioners more opportunities to enhance their skills on visiting film and TV productions.

In a move to boost local job opportunities by reducing the chances of projects recruiting interstate and international crew, the Head of Department Incentive will allow production companies to apply for a grant to employ a local head of department on an eligible production.

Announced by Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings and Film Victoria, it’s designed to encourage international and qualifying Australian productions to use Victorians in senior creative and technical positions.

“The Victorian Government has recognised the need to support Victorian crew being employed in more senior positions on international projects,” Jennings said in a statement.

“That is why we identified this new incentive as an action in the Victorian Screen Industry Strategy – to foster a highly-skilled screen industry workforce and ensure our local crew are exposed to significant and more complex work experiences.”

Victorian Dean Hood, who worked on The Killer Elite and The Pacific – released tomorrow on DVD – said it was a great opportunity for local crew and would help them get the international credits they required.

Film Victoria CEO Sandra Sdraulig said production companies receiving the incentive would need to employ up to four Victorian crew members.

Up to $50,000 per application will be made available, depending on the type and size of the project. Features, telemovies, miniseries, TV series and documentaries are all eligible.

For more information, contact Film Victoria’s incentives coordinator on (03) 9660 3250.

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