Matthew Deaner at Screen Forever.

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner. 

Screen Producers Australia’s (SPA) annual conference and market, Screen Forever, will now take place in February on the Gold Coast, with a digital companion for those unable to attend in person.

After eight years in Melbourne, last year SPA announced Screen Forever will head to Queensland until 2022, supported by the Queensland Government and Screen Queensland. While typically held in November, the pandemic has meant a shift to February 16-18, 2021.

“The health and wellbeing of our delegates, staff and the wider community is our number one priority. Without Queensland’s strong health response to this pandemic it would not be possible for us to proceed with our event,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

“The amount of interest we have received in recent months has proven how critical Screen Forever is to the Australian screen industry, particularly the production sector, and we thank everyone for their patience and support while we determined the safest and best way to proceed.”

Deaner said the digital platform should allow colleagues displaced by the pandemic to connect, and “expand the pool of content hungry buyers and sellers to unprecedented levels.”

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said how important it is for Queensland-based producers and creatives to connect with interstate and international producers at a time when Australian-made content is in such high demand, yet travelling overseas is not an option.

“For over 30 years, Screen Forever has been one of the major highlights on the Australian screen industry’s calendar, opening doors for Queensland producers to pitch their projects to national and international big-hitters in the film industry,” she said.

“In the current landscape, the continuation of significant international markets like Screen Forever is excellent news for our local screen sector, which has shown enormous resilience during this challenging period. We are fortunate to have an industry conference of this calibre on our doorstep and very proud to partner with SPA.”

Tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks. In the interim, SPA is calling for session ideas to be submitted here by October 9.

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