With cameras rolling again around Victoria, the Victorian Government will provide a major financial boost to ensure the screen industry is ready to capitalise on the huge global demand for content, backing thousands of local jobs.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson has announced a record investment of $33.8 million in Victorian screen productions and programs, to allow more international and local projects to be to be made in Victoria, with the vast majority of the fund to be committed this financial year.
This includes international film Blacklight, which started shooting in Melbourne this week. The feature starring Liam Neeson is one of a number of productions currently shooting in Victoria which are all adhering to strict COVIDSafe protocols. Blacklight will employ 340 local crew, more than 825 casuals, cast and extras, 50 local post-production, digital and visual effects professionals and support 30 Victorian businesses ranging from catering to transport.
The Victorian Labor Government’s investment will back employment-boosting international projects like Blacklight and locally-created content, screen industry projects and talent development initiatives.
There will be $4.7 million for the development and production of local content across film, television, online and digital games and $8.6 million to continue Film Victoria’s successful local production investment and industry and skills development programs. More than half of the investment will be allocated in the current financial year, providing significant immediate job stimulus. Film Victoria’s investment in the development of locally generated digital games will double.
Some $19.2 million will be allocated to attract international and interstate screen projects through a new Victorian Screen Incentive. This incentive will target physical productions, visual effects, animation, post-production and, for the first time, digital games projects.
As Docklands Studios Melbourne prepares to break ground on its $46 million sixth sound stage, $1.3 million will be allocated to create a trade and technical hub close to the studios for screen crews and support businesses.
While this package is focused on immediate recovery, work is also under way on a five-year Victorian Government Screen Industry Strategy which will guide investment and opportunities in the longer term.