WA government announces $18.7 million in screen industry funding

Ben Feldman at the premiere of 'Population 11' on the weekend.

The Western Australian government will put almost $19 million into the state’s screen industry to attract international and domestic production and boost capacity.

Announced at the premiere of the Kimberley-shot comedic crime thriller Population 11 on the weekend, the funding will support the state’s upcoming Screen Industry Strategy and includes more than $15 million to lure major projects to the screen production facility under construction near Malaga Station.

Population 11, a twelve-part series from Jungle Entertainment about a man who goes missing from a tiny outback town of only 12 residents, leading his estranged son Andy, played by Ben Feldman, to journey from the US to find him, received $1.9 million towards its production via Screenwest, Lotterywest, and the WA Regional Screen Fund.

According to the WA government, the series, commissioned by Stan and Lionsgate, created 100 jobs, nearly half of which were regional, while generating more than $7 million in direct expenditure, including $3.4 million in regional expenditure.

WA Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman said the additional funding for the sector was designed to maintain the momentum from not only Population 11 but also the second season of The Twelve and The Surfer, both of which were supported by WA Production Attraction Incentive

“I’m delighted to announce almost $19m in new funding to bring major productions to WA from across Australia and overseas, and to help our local industry to keep up with the rapidly growing demand to film productions in WA,” he said.

“To date, the scheme we call the WA Production Attraction Incentive has attracted a number of high-profile productions to the state.”

The funding comes after the state government announced $9.2 million in Lotterywest grants for 2023/24 last month, with $7.7 million matching 2022/23’s contribution to support the screen industry and a second grant of $1.5 million supporting the capacity of local productions and towards the development of the WA First Nations filmmaking sector.