‘Jaimen Hudson: From Sky to Sea’.

Screenwest has put $1.2 million in grant funding towards 60 production companies, producers and post houses via one of its suite of COVID-19 support measures.

The Taking Care of Business initiative forms part of an overall $2.5 million dollar package from Screenwest, made up of repurposed funds from Lotterywest. It was specifically aimed at supporting businesses through the crisis and maintaining a pipeline of production.

Producers were able to apply for one of four different tiers of funding, depending on levels of experience, company needs and recent and anticipated contributions to the WA screen industry. Post houses were eligible for two tiers of funding via a separate round, ‘Fix it In Post’.

The funding announcement follows the release of the Australian COVID-19 health and safety protocols. While some documentary work has continued into WA during the pandemic, the screen sector is now more broadly preparing for a restart.

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe said: “It was vitally important that we supported Western Australian producers, production companies and post-production companies during this crisis, as they are key drivers within the WA screen industry.”

“It is envisaged that the funding will be used to innovate and strengthen these businesses during this time, so that Western Australia is ready to ‘open for business’ and primed for a busy production period.”

The full list of recipients will be announced in Screenwest’s 2019-20 annual report, but includes Factor 30 Films, and Sea Dog TV International.

“The funding has ensured that Sea Dog TV emerges with a strong development and production slate of Western Australian stories.” explained Sea Dog TV International CEO and EP Leighton DeBarros.

“Additionally, despite the Pandemic and with steadfast support from Screenwest, Sea Dog TV International is currently in production on the feature documentary Jaimen Hudson: From Sky to Sea and is looking forward to bringing this incredible story to Australian and international audiences in early 2021 in association with ABC Commercial, Fan-Force TV and NHK Japan.”

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