Queensland filmmakers form collective

A film and television industry council made up of the most experienced and commercially successful producers in the state is being established to foster a productive relationship between government and industry.

Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said the new Queensland Screen Industry Development Council was a significant outcome for the industry.

"I am keen to develop a strong, productive and sustainable film and television industry in Queensland and the establishment of this council is a positive move toward this goal," Mr Welford said.

"The council will strengthen and formalise the existing close ties between the industry and the Bligh Government’s Pacific Film and Television Commission (PFTC), Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA) and Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry (DTRD&I).

"Our local industry continues to go from strength to strength – Queensland has produced a record 10 home-grown feature films since 2006, the majority with PFTC funding investment, and four of which are due for theatrical release later this year.

"This production level is unprecedented in Queensland’s filmmaking history, but we must not rest on our laurels.

"This industry remains a work in progress and in order to maximise development opportunities and increase production levels, industry and government cannot operate independently of one another."

The Council was formed as a result of the Film, Television and Digital Content Skills Formation Strategy (SFS) workshops held by PFTC throughout 2007 and 2008.

The Council’s first task will be to develop a strategic plan for the industry, improving screen business structures and career pathways in partnership with industry and government.

Council members were elected by industry peers during the final SFS workshop in 2007 and reflect a broad cross-section of industry and government perspectives.

Members are: producers Chris Brown, Tony Cavanaugh, Nathan Mayfield, Richard Stewart, Norm Wilkinson, Larry Zetlin, Veronica Fury and Cathy Overett (Screen Producers Association of Australia); writer Shirley Pierce; guild representatives Tom Hoffie (Queensland Professional Filmmakers’ Guild) and Sally McKenzie (Australian Writer’s Guild, Australian Directors’ Guild); and government figures Henry Tefay (PFTC), Lindy Johnson (DTRD&I) and Denise Wiseman (DETA).

Mr Welford said 25 skills formation strategies were now operating in Queensland, with 18 of these established under the Government’s $1 billion Queensland Skills Plan.

[Release by PFTC]