UPDATE: Federal Govt commits $21.6m to lure 20,000 Leagues to Australia

The Gillard Government has today announced a one-off payment of $21.6m to attract the Walt Disney Studios film 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo to Australia.

The project, at one stage rumoured to have Brad Pitt attached, is expected to create up to 2,000 jobs and result in significant investment in Australian businesses working on the big-budget production.

The additional funding can be likened to the one-off payment of $12.8m made to Hugh Jackman’s The Wolverine, which was filmed in New South Wales and Tokyo last year.

The Wolverine, which is due to be released in Australia on July 25, created over 1750 jobs, used over 1,000 Australian companies and generated $80 million worth of investment nationally, according to an Ausfilm statement released to the press.

“There has been renewed interest in Australia as a preferred location following the one-off grant provided by the Federal Government to The Wolverine, and the substantial benefits such a production brings,” said Ausfilm CEO Debra Richards.

“The announcement of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to film in Australia will result in meaningful benefits for the industry and the economy; including jobs, skills and training, and investment back into the local industry. This one-off payment highlights the importance of an attractive Location Offset which can successfully compete for large scale international production to shoot in Australia,” she said.

“Today’s announcement along with the additional $20 million announced in Creative Australia as part of the national cultural policy to attract international production, will be an excellent boost to the Australian film industry and as we have seen most recently with The Wolverine, to the wider Australian economy," she said.

In a separate statement, The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance have also welcomed the Gillard Government announcement. 

“We congratulate the Gillard Government on today’s announcement,” said Mal Tulloch, director of the Entertainment Crew & Sport section of the Alliance. “The local production of 20,000 Leagues will generate much needed work for the industry as well as injecting millions of dollars into the local economy.”

The Alliance has been lobbying the Federal Government to increase the location offset from 16.5 per cent to 30 per cent to attract large-scale productions such as The Wolverine and 20, 000 Leagues to Australia.

The Federal Government’s decision last year to grant The Wolverine the one-off payment of $12.8m effectively lifted the location offset to 30 per cent.

“The Gillard Government has listen to our members concerns and today’s announcement is a win for the industry but without a permanent increase to the location offset, we will see other big-budget international productions head elsewhere.” said Tulloch.