Screen Australia announces $3.3 million in funding for festivals and events

Warwick Thornton at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival. (Photo credit: Rocket K Photography)

Screen Australia will support 17 festivals and events from across the country with a total of $1.1 million per year for the next three financial years.

This will include funding for the major film festivals in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as regional festivals like CinéfestOZ and the Flickerfest National Tour.

The agency has said the application process was highly competitive, with the total ask on Screen Australia of $7.1 million over three years from 41 applications, including significant new asks due to the Adelaide Film Festival becoming an annual event – it was previously biannual – and the Brisbane International Film Festival returning to the market.

“As always, we received far more applications than we could possibly fund. In such a rapidly changing environment in terms of how content is consumed, we have prioritised festivals and events that offer the greatest opportunities for Australian drama and documentary creators,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason.

“These opportunities range from access to large festival audiences, reach outside of a niche audience, substantial professional development, significant prizes that garner international attention, Academy Award accreditation or the ability to showcase diverse screen stories and creators.”

“We’re particularly excited to support the reimagined Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) which, with the support of Screen Queensland, will now be hosted by the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) Australian Cinémathèque. This is an Australian-first – a cultural institution taking on a film festival. With invaluable resources, industry connections and infrastructure at their disposal, we have no doubt BIFF will become a premier screen cultural event.”

It was also announced today that QAGOMA’s acting curatorial manager of the Australian Cinémathèque, Amanda Slack-Smith will be artistic director for BIFF 2018.

Screen Australia has said that despite budgetary reductions in other program areas across the agency the same total amount of overall funding has been allocated to festivals and events. It said it retains the right to amend the three year commitment in the event of further funding cuts.

“There is no doubt the festival business is a hard slog, with event organisers needing to become increasingly entrepreneurial in accessing corporate funds and minimising their reliance on government support, recognising that the landscape they work in has fundamentally changed. Those that are targeting younger and new audiences, including new formats and moving away from traditional models of engagement are wisely seeking to future proof themselves, and for this they should be congratulated,” said Mason.

The funded festivals and events are:

  • AACTA Awards
  • Access All Areas Film Festival
  • Adelaide Film Festival
  • Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC)
  • Brisbane International Film Festival
  • CinéfestOZ
  • Darwin International Film Festival
  • Flickerfest Film Festival and the Flickerfest National Tour
  • Focus On Ability Short Film Festival
  • Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF)
  • Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)
  • MIFF 37˚South
  • Revelation Perth International Film Festival
  • St Kilda Film Festival
  • Sydney Film Festival and the Sydney Travelling Film Festival
  • The Other Film Festival
  • Tropfest