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Screen industry goes from strength to strength with record production spend and fourth year of growth

01 November 2019

South Australia has recorded the fourth consecutive year of growth and a 29% increase in drama spend in the state according to Screen Australia’s 18/19 National Drama Report released today. A new record-breaking high of $110 million was spent in the state on production and post production, up from $85 million in 17/18.

South Australia has sustained 9% of the national share, with the state achieving a record 11% in 17/18, up from 3% in 16/17.

South Australia is the only state to show continued growth over the last four financial years.

Of the new record $110 million, $66 million was derived from PDV (post production, digital and visual effects) representing a large jump from $44 million in 17/18, and $44 million was from productions shooting in South Australia, increasing from $41 million in 17/18.

South Australia’s PDV share of the national spend is 18%, demonstrating the strength of the sector and the success of the South Australia’s PDV rebate.

The National Drama Report measures the health of the Australian screen industry by covering the production of local and foreign feature films, TV dramas, online programs plus PDV (post production, digital and visual effects) activity.

South Australia’s Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said “This is fantastic news for South Australia’s screen sector which continues to go from strength to strength.

“This level of expenditure indicates that we have a growing film industry in SA, which means a boost for jobs and careers not only for our local talented crew and artists, but also for the associated trades and jobs and services that are integral to filmmaking – such as electricians, carpenters, painters, plasterers, costume designers, and catering.

“This report will provide valuable insights for the Screen Advisory Committee which this government recently established and tasked with overseeing the growth of screen related industries in SA and the job opportunities which flow from a having vibrant screen sector.”

CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Croser said “It is particularly thrilling to see South Australian screen production companies shine in these figures, with multi-award-winning Closer Productions producing the first locally conceived television drama to be produced for network prime-time, The Hunting. The series, which employed so many South Australian heads of department and crew and showcased our outstanding young cast to a national audience, is SBS’s highest rating commissioned drama of all time and will be broadcast around the world.

Matchbox established a South Australian office in 2018 with South Australian producer Kirsty Stark and has produced Stateless alongside Dirty Films.

The support of the South Australian Marshall Government has enabled this incredible surge of production to continue in South Australia due to the continued commitment to production and PDV funding.”  

Feature films shot in South Australia in 18/19 were 2067, starring Kodi Smit McPhee and Ryan Kwanten,  Never Too Late, featuring James Cromwell and Jacqui Weaver and Official Co-production Escape from Pretoria which brought Daniel Radcliffe to the state.

TV dramas The Hunting (Closer Productions for SBS), Cate Blanchett produced Stateless (Matchbox Pictures for ABC), The Letdown Series 2 (TLD2 for ABC), Tim Minchin’s Upright (Lingo for Foxtel) and online production Lucy and Dic (We Made a Thing Studios for YouTube/Facebook)

Episodes of Chinese TV series If Time Flows Back, produced by 57 Films was also shot in South Australia, one of only four foreign TV dramas shot in Australia through the period.

A significant proportion of the state’s 2018/19 expenditure came from PDV work on titles which include foreign features Cats, Ford vs Ferrari, Jungle Cruise, Captain Marvel and I Am Woman.


Featured image: On the set of The Hunting (2019)

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