Screen Australia and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) will have more money to invest in productions and skills training respectively thanks to extra funding from the Federal Government.

The Federal Budget to be delivered on October 6 will deliver an additional $22.9 million to eight cultural institutions including Screen Australia, AFTRS and the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) to help offset declines in revenues due to COVID-19.

The allocations are $2.3 million for AFTRS, $2.5 million for the NFSA and $1.1 million for Screen Australia.

Screen Australia is yet to spell out how it will spend the money but CEO Graeme Mason tells IF: “This has been an incredibly challenging year for the screen sector and we welcome the additional support from the government.

“Our industry has shown great resilience and these funds will go straight out to the sector to help productions safely continue to make distinctive Australian stories for the screen.”

AFTRS CEO Dr Nell Greenwood says: “This is welcome news which recognises the impact of COVID-19 and the increased cost of delivering COVIDSafe teaching and production.

“This funding allows us to invest in future skills training for the industry and ensure that we are able to keep growing as a centre of creative excellence, delivering the high-level graduates that we are so proud of here at AFTRS and that are integral to the ongoing success of the Australian screen and broadcast industries.”

The Archive was unable to respond to questions before the filing deadline. Among other recipients, the National Gallery of Australia gets $4.5 million, the National Library of Australia $5.4 million and the National Museum of Australia $3.9 million.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the investment will help these institutions continue to inspire visitors and create Australian content.

“COVID-19 means these institutions have lost revenue they would normally get from visitors, exhibitions and donations; this funding will help make up for that loss so the national cultural institutions can maintain their activities,” he said.

“It means our institutions can continue to showcase Australian history, culture and art to the public, in person and online.”

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