The Victorian Government has unveiled a new $191.5 million, four-year strategy for the state’s screen industry, which it says has the potential to inject more than $1.2 billion back into the economy and support more than 40,000 jobs.
Comprising 11 actions across four priority areas, Vicscreen will be led by a “revitalised and expanded” Film Victoria, in collaboration with Docklands Studios Melbourne, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), and Creative Victoria.
The key focuses consist of generating compelling Victorian content and IP; driving industry jobs and growth; developing skills and talent; and building market and consumer engagement.
The government will invest $120.7 million in the strategy, which Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson said was designed to put Victoria at the forefront of the global screen entertainment boom.
“The reputation of our screen industry is world-class and through Vicscreen we will grow jobs, foster local talent, and put Victorian projects on the map,” he said.
“Films like The Dry, filmed in Victoria’s Wimmera region, show us how powerful local story-telling can be. This strategy will give even more Victorian stories a chance to shine.
“We have an enormous pool of talent here in Victoria and this strategy will build on our strengths and position the industry for growth for decades to come.”
Specific actions include the creation of a Victorian Production Fund to support Victorian companies and creatives, as well as an expansion of the Victorian Screen Incentive to cover light entertainment.
The strategy also addresses potential skills shortages within the industry, floating a dedicated tertiary training provider for visual effects, games, and animation, along with further support for on-the-job training, including an expanded attachment program, and requiring supported projects to employ emerging practitioners on productions.
Elsewhere, there are plans to revitalise the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and to enhance ACMI via new drawcard exhibitions and activities.
The 2024-25 targets by which the strategy’s success is to be measured include $350 million in Victorian production expenditure of supported projects, as well as 2,600 Victorian full-time equivalents employed by supported projects, equating to 11,362 project jobs.
The state also wants to increase its share of national drama expenditure from 30 per cent to 40 per cent by 2024-25, while having 85 per cent of all its supported projects led by Victorian creatives, and 90 per cent led by Victorian companies.
Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher told IF Vicscreen set a bold vision for the state’s screen industry in the wake of “significant change and growth” across the global sector.
“Through Vicscreen, the Victorian Government is capitalising on this growth, backing local jobs, skills, creativity, and economic activity to set the industry up for success for decades to come,” she said.
“Short-term impacts will include an increase in the number of local and international screen projects being made in the state which will in turn create more job opportunities.
“As well as this, Film Victoria will be supporting the development of more screen stories and digital games.
“The funding ensures that Film Victoria can lead the industry in a more strategic way and better guide and support a creatively and commercially successful industry.”
Read the full strategy here.