SAFC COVID-19 FAQ
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the SAFC’s response to the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the SA Screen Sector. This page will be updated regularly.
If you have a question that is not addressed on this page, we encourage you to email us.
Last updated 2 July, 2020.
The SAFC is committed to supporting increased participation for people from groups under-represented in the screen industry including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, practitioners from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, Deaf or disabled people, LGBTQIA+ communities and screen practitioners from regional and remote areas.
- Download an Easy Read version of this page (151kb PDF)
If you need any of this information in an alternative format please contact us.
Government Support Overview
The SAFC has compiled a list of all available State and Federal Government support programs and initiatives relevant to the SA screen sector into one downloadable document. This PDF will be kept updated as more COVID-19 support measures are announced.
General Information Hubs
Business/Employment Information & Support
- State Government of SA: One-off $10,000 Emergency Cash Grants for Small Businesses
- Business SA: COVID-19 Business Information and Support Hub
- Business.gov.au: Coronavirus Information and Support for Business
- Business.gov.au: Business COVID-19 Hotline (6.30am to 10.30pm, seven days)
Ph: 13 28 46
- Australian Treasury: COVID-19 Information Hub
- Australian Taxation Office: COVID-19 measures and support
- Australian Taxation Office: JobKeeper Payment
ATO JobKeeper Payment Fact sheet (as of 14 April, 2020)
- MEAA Fact Sheet: COVID-19 JobKeeper Payments
- Services Australia: If you need a payment – Coronavirus
- Centrelink: Payment and Eligibility Tool
- Article: How to Apply for the JobSeeker Payment (formerly Newstart)
Screen Sector Specific Information & Support
- SAFC COVID-19 Support Measures
- Australian Screen Production Industry COVID-Safe Guidelines
- ABC: Fresh Start Development Fund – open 4 May to 12 June
- Netflix and Support Act COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund – opens 15 June
- Screen Australia: COVID-19 Resource Directory for the Screen Sector
- Australian Government Office for the Arts: COVID-19 Update
- Australia Council: Guide to Government COVID-19 Assistance for the Arts
- Screen Producers Australia: Effects of COVID-19 on Screen Production Survey
- Entertainment Assist: Free Mental Health Support Videos for the Entertainment Sector
Questions: SAFC Business Operations
Is the SAFC open and operating?
Adelaide Studios is open and will continue to operate unless the State and/or Federal Government directs us to close. The SAFC reception is open from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm weekdays.
Can I still meet with SAFC staff?
The SAFC is holding all meetings via telephone or video conferencing at this time.
What will happen to my existing SAFC funded project?
The SAFC is absolutely committed to supporting industry at this time. We will be flexible and responsive to industry’s needs. We will fast-track development applications, extend deadlines and simplify reporting requirements. If your project is impacted by COVID-19, we encourage you to speak with the Production and Development team for support.
How can I stay up to date with what SAFC is doing across COVID-19?
We encourage you to subscribe to the SAFC’s main news mailing list if you haven’t already signed up, and stay tuned to SAFC social media channels and our website for regular updates from the CEO, agency news and opportunities.
You can also check our COVID-19 Support Measures page to view all current and proposed COVID-19 related support measures organised by screen sector job type.
What support measures are available for my particular job type?
Go to our COVID-19 Support Measures page to view all current and proposed COVID-19 related support measures organised by screen sector job type.
What specific support is there for writers?
We have heard the concerns of local writers and the factual community and are committed to working with partners to find ways to directly support these important and valued parts of our sector in the new financial year. Right now, the SAFC will prioritise development funding for projects with SA Writers and Directors.
Can I still apply for Development and Production Funding?
Yes. Development and Production funding programs are running as usual. Any changes to Development and Production programs will be communicated widely with industry – we recommend SA screen sector members subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date.
Some programs have been put on hold in the current circumstances, predominantly those involving travel. For initial enquiries about funding please contact the Production and Development Team on 08 8394 2029 or at email@example.com
If Screen Australia is targeting late stage development, could the SAFC target earlier and mid-stage development?
Yes. We have taken on board the feedback from the Virtual Town Hall Meeting and has made Targeted Development open to projects at early and mid-stage development. However, the project needs to demonstrate a strong claim against the criteria; including the likelihood of the project being financed and produced within the next 12-18 months. Find out more about the Targeted Development Grant on our Development page.
The SAFC intends for Targeted Development to be a temporary measure, in response to the disruption to production. SAFC will continually review and adapt its COVID-19 measures as the needs and circumstances of the SA Screen Industry change over time.
Is the SAFC offering any professional/skills development opportunities or online training?
On Friday 22 May the SAFC presented the SA Screen Survive and Thrive Workshop, a free business resilience training workshop especially for South Australian screen businesses delivered by award-winning creative industries business expert Monica Davidson of Creative Plus Business Group. The free 2.5 hour skills workshop was designed especially for sole traders, freelancers and microbusinesses operating in the SA screen sector to help them navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and take advantage of emerging opportunities. You can watch a free video replay of the workshop on Crowdcast.
What about mentorships for emerging practitioners?
The SAFC has partnered with Mercury CX to provide a paid Master/Apprentice Program for experienced crew to mentor emerging crew. Applications from below-the-line crew to participate as mentees/apprentices in the program are now open until 8 July 2020, via Mercury CX. Find out more here.
There are also State and Federal Government funds available for trainees and apprenticeships – see the quick links at the top of this page.
Can I get income support, or have costs subsidised during this time?
The SAFC cannot provide direct financial support to individuals. Our programs will seek to provide benefit to practitioners through supporting development and production outcomes.
The SAFC has compiled a list of all available State and Federal Government support programs and initiatives relevant to the SA screen sector into one downloadable document. This PDF will be kept updated as more COVID-19 support measures are announced. Download COVID-19 Assistance Programs – At A Glance (253kb PDF)
A number of COVID-19 funds, grants and other support programs for the screen sector have been announced by other agencies and organisations including the ABC, Netflix and Support Act. See the quick links at the top of this page for more.
Will the SAFC fund me to retain staff?
The SAFC cannot directly pay for staff of SA businesses but we are directly engaging with affected businesses to assist. There are Federal and State Government supports available that can assist businesses with cashflow and retaining staff at this time, such as the Federal Government Temporary Relief for Financially Stressed Businesses.
The ATO’s JobKeeper Payment is intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19. As of 14 April, 2020 the latest advice on the JobKeeper Payment is that:
- Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover (e.g. because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established or their turnover is typically highly variable) the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that they have been significantly affected by the impacts of the COVID-19.
- The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances (e.g. eligibility may be established as soon as a business has ceased or significantly curtailed its operations).
- There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a greater than 30 (or 50) per cent fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.
Download the ATO’s JobKeeper Payment fact sheet PDF here (updated 14 April, 2020).
The SAFC welcomes feedback from sector members on your eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment, and how we can assist you in navigating these new measures – you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What about temporary visa holders working in the sector?
While the SAFC is very grateful to receive all feedback from industry, in some cases responsibility rests with another part of government. In the case of Temporary Visa Holders, responsibility for these workers sits within the Department of Home Affairs. Their COVID-19 FAQ can be found here.
Can the Adelaide Studios lockup area be used as storage to assist businesses, service companies and crew with trucks to save money on storage facilities at this time?
Yes. The SAFC can assist with this on a temporary basis whilst the Adelaide Studios are unable to be utilised due to social distancing restrictions. The SAFC is discussing this option with potential businesses to identify the demand. Please contact email@example.com to register your interest.
Can the SAFC create a virtual networking hub for screen creatives who would like to use this isolation time for creating new projects?
Following the SAFC’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting the local industry has independently established a South Australian Screen Industry Facebook Group as an online hub to exchange ideas and ask questions. You can request to join the group here.
South Australian producer Kirsty Stark has also compiled information from different members of the industry to create an SA Film/TV Industry Google Spreadsheet, which is being updated by sector members as a valuable shared resource. All members of the sector are welcome to join the document to list resources, share details of online meet-up events and links to SA made entertainment available for streaming. You can find it here.
I’m a photographer – can the SAFC hire me to take location photos during this time?
The SAFC is planning to update its locations gallery in the new financial year. There may be future opportunities to hire external photographers at that time.
Can I still enquire about booking Adelaide Studios or filming in South Australia during this time?
Yes, we continue to welcome enquiries about studio bookings and filming in South Australia. Please contact Studio Manager Melissa Eldridge firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s happening with projects that were due to go into production this year?
All productions are currently on hold and the SAFC is working closely with producers to ensure productions can be ready to resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
With productions on hold, will there be more funding available for development?
Yes. The SAFC will increase its development spend for Early and Advanced Development. See the Questions: Support section above or visit our COVID-19 Support Measures page for more information.
Questions: Adelaide Studios Tenants & Clients
Can tenants keep working at Adelaide Studios?
Yes, Adelaide Studios tenants can continue to work from the building. We encourage those who are able to work from home to do so, and to observe the Government recommendations with regards to meetings (see below).
We want to make all tenants and clients aware that, should we encounter a scenario necessitating a site closure, SAFC offices and Adelaide Studios facilities may be required to close at short notice.
Can I still meet with SAFC staff?
In line with Federal Government guidelines on social distancing, Adelaide Studios tenants and clients are advised the following with regard to meetings at Adelaide Studios:
- Please consider holding meetings via video conferencing or phone call instead of in person on site;
- Meetings that must be held in person should allow for attendees to be 1.5m apart from each other;
- If you are hosting external visitors on site for a meeting, please first check if they have recently travelled to a country or region on the Commonwealth Government’s identified risk list. If so, you must make alternative arrangements such as a conference or Skype call;
- Defer large meetings (where attendees cannot be 1.5m apart from each other);
- Hold essential meetings outside in the open air if possible;
- Stop handshaking as a greeting.
Please note this information may be subject to change; stay up to date with the most current Government recommendations via the quick links at the top of this page.
Will the SAFC waive rent for Adelaide Studios tenants?
The SA Treasurer has approved government agencies (including the SAFC) providing full rent relief/waiver for commercial, retail and industrial businesses that have been forced to close or are significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19 restrictions from 23 March, 2020 to 30 June, 2020. In order to receive this new COVID-19 full rent relief tenants will need to meet the eligibility criteria and follow an application process. An application form drafted by the Department of Innovation and Skills (DIS) has been shared with all tenants via email on Monday 11 May, 2020. If you have any questions about this process please email email@example.com
Adelaide Studios tenants will receive a 20% discount on their rent until further notice.
Main image: SAFC courtyard, photo by Kelly Barnes