A $400 million package is being put forward by the Morrison government in order to revive the crumbling film industry in Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the investment is estimated to attract around $3 billion in foreign spending and aims to create 8,000 jobs per year.
“This investment is key to our JobMaker plan to create jobs, boost local business activity and provide training and skills,” Mr. Morrison said in a statement.
Screen Australia have welcomed the announcement and the agency has reported that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they are receiving over 534 applications for funding (a figure up 41 per cent from the previous year) and are committed to see seeing that the number of these applications continue to grow in the future.
“While this has been a turbulent, challenging time for many in the industry, it hasn’t stopped the drive, passion and imagination of Australian creatives teams. In fact, we have continued to see applications coming through with really strong and distinctive content, with the application numbers across March-June this year up 76 per cent on the same period last year” said Screen Australia’s Head of Development Nerida Moore.
Many in the screen industry have found it difficult because of the pandemic and student who have enrolled in screen related degrees have spoken of the increased challenges to an already cut-throat industry to break into.
“It’s affected me personally a lot” says Beatrice, an acting student. “I used to do at least two jobs per week and on top of that auditions. Now I am lucky enough to get 1-2 auditions a month. So, it has been a huge change.”
Actresses such as Beatrice have largely welcomed the news such as the boost and initiatives supported by the Morrison government and are excited to see the film industry grow even further in the future despite the impact from the pandemic.
“When I saw that [news of the $400 million package] I instantly thought that would be incredible because we all need film in our lives especially in times like this” says Emily, an actress.” The arts are so important and people need a way to escape.”
“The boost would bring so many jobs and more opportunities for actors, film crew and other people in the industry. It’s what we need right now. Most people in this industry have really suffered as a lot of them rely on contract to contract work.
Beatrice also adds her optimism for the future and wishes the boost is the well-needed support that the film industry needs.
“I hope after the pandemic the film industry boosts up again, and I think it will.”
“Many people around Australia and the world enjoy film and TV. We need to be able to have something for people to look forward to. I always get excited when i see a trailer to a new film coming out. We need that excitement again in our lives.”