With production booming around the country, the South Australia Film Corporation (SAFC) has launched a new initiative to bolster local crew.

Via funding from Skilling South Australia, a state and federal government program, 25 skilled workers from adjacent industries such performing and visual arts, festivals and events, accountancy, trades, construction and more will undergo training to join the screen industry for the first time.

Twenty-five existing crew will also be upskilled to fill key and specialised roles to meet the demands of the sector.

Training will be delivered by the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

The initiative follows five consecutive years of growth in drama production expenditure in SA, including its largest production ever, New Line Cinema’s Mortal Kombat.

Other recent productions in the state include Anthony Hayes’ Stan feature Gold, starring Zac Efron; Thomas M. Wright’s The Unknown Man, starring Joel Edgerton, as well as Stan, HBO and BBC series The Tourist, which is currently filming in the Flinders Ranges with lead actor Jamie Dornan.

In 2019-2020, South Australia snagged 15 per cent of the national drama expenditure or $146 million.

The SAFC has identified that there are skills gaps in the state in assistant directing, camera, art department, production office and production accounting.

These largely mirror national shortages as reported in a recent Screen Producers Australia (SPA) survey.

“They are specialised roles in the industry that rely on industry-led training and on-the-job exposure for workers to build suitable skills and competency,” said South Australian Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni.

“This project will assist in meeting the increasing demand and deliver more jobs for South Australians.

“It also contributes to the Creative Industries Strategy that sets a target average of five per cent growth per annum to 2030.”

The move to encourage practitioners from adjacent sectors to the screen industry follows SAFC’s recent Technical Screen Careers Open Day, which attracted more than 140 registrations.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser told IF that part of the project has been educating the broader community that “screen can be for you”, and that the industry can offer a viable career, or a means to supplement an existing income.

The initiative is designed to complement existing SAFC programs, including its attachment scheme and Master/Apprentice, run in partnership with Mercury CX, which sees crew members partnered with experienced heads of department for career mentoring.

Skilling South Australia is $200 million partnership between the federal and South Australian government to deliver the skills required by various industries.

To apply go to safilm.com.au    

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