Queensland Government announces $71 million boost for screen industry

Uli Latukefu in 'Young Rock', which shot at Screen Queensland Studios. (Photo: Mark Taylor)

The Queensland Government moved to consolidate the state’s booming screen industry in today’s budget, which included a further $71 million for production growth.

Part of the Economic Recovery Plan, the funds consist of $53 million over two years for Production Attraction Strategy; $4 million over two years for the Screen Finance Fund, and $4 million over four years for the new North Queensland Regional Program to expand screen opportunities in the north of the state.

There will also be $10 million over two years for the Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Incentive, which will subsequently increase from 10 to 15 per cent.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said the budget support would allow the agency to further maximise the current boom.

 “[The funds] will stimulate crew jobs that flow from big productions like Thirteen Lives, Australian Survivor, and Young Rock, increase the volume of Queensland-grown screen projects we can finance, and support development programs we can offer to emerging creative talent,” she said.

“Building a sustainable industry, which attracts and retains the best and brightest talent in our state, is core to the Screen Queensland mission.

“Particularly exciting for the local post-production sector is the increase to 15 per cent for the PDV Incentive, making Queensland the most competitive state for post-production work on the east coast.”

The Queensland Government has invested about $100 million in the Production Attraction Strategy since 2015, which has helped to lure projects such as Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Godzilla vs. Kong, Love and Monsters, Escape from Spiderhead, Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, Ol Parker’s Ticket To Paradise and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.

Thirteen Lives joins season two of Amazon Original series The Wilds, and The Portable Door – co-production between Brisbane company Story Bridge Films and the renowned The Jim Henson Company – as productions underway in the state.

Coming up for Queensland is the Joe Exotic series to be filmed at Screen Queensland Studios, Sarah Spillane’s Jessica Watson biopic True Spirit, Matchbox Pictures’ Irreverent, and Ticket To Paradise, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new funding would cement Queensland’s reputation as a production powerhouse.

“Queensland attracted more international productions than any other state in 2020 and this funding will help us to attract even more,” she said.

“From competitive incentives and first-rate studio facilities, to highly skilled local crews and diverse locations – it’s no surprise that screen production demand is at an all-time high in Queensland.

“Our screen success is not an accident, but the result of long-term planning and strategic investment in the industry, led by Screen Queensland.”

Last year, the Queensland Government committed almost $12 million for two new screen facilities – $6.8 million for a new studio facility in Cairns and $5 million for a TV production hub on the Gold Coast.