Latest updates from Film Victoria

To our screen community

Over the past month, we have been addressing the immediate challenges facing creatives, screen practitioners and screen businesses caused by the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our focus is to not only support our industry right now, but ensure a swift and efficient recovery.

Film Victoria continues to operate as normal with funding for Project Development, Assigned Production Investment and Key Production Placement registers open. We have recently invested a total of $1,765,200 for eight projects through Assigned Production Investment.

Whilst we are continuing to work with the Victorian Government on ways to best support the industry at this time, I am pleased to also share that we have made changes to both production and development funding guidelines which will enable us to continue to support projects during this time of changed market conditions. These changes include:

  • From the close of our next API deadline (4 June) applicants will be able to apply for production funding at any time and funding decisions will now be made every four to eight weeks to ensure a strong pipeline of projects ready for production.
  • We have implemented flexibility across development funding guidelines, removing the requirement for market attachment for Development on Demand for television drama projects. This will allow us to support producers and creative teams directly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

We know that everyone has been affected differently and we are providing bespoke assistance to supported productions that are on hiatus or that have been delayed to ensure that when they can return to production, they can do so quickly.

Further to this,

  • Over the coming weeks, we will keep working with you, the Victorian Government, Screen Australia and ACMA to consider and respond to the Supporting Australian Stories on our Screens options paper over the consultation period.
  • Our Locations and Production Services team are supporting Location Managers on screen productions that are continuing to film to during this time (including TVCs) to assist in sourcing alternative filming locations and sharing permitting updates from councils and agencies across Victoria.
  • We are liaising with the Victorian government and local government authorities to formulate and disseminate communication around safe work practices for screen production within the social distancing restrictions that are currently in place.
  • We are intelligence gathering across domestic and international film production territories to inform Victoria’s film production strategy both during and post pandemic.
  • We are working alongside other screen territories to formulate safety protocols for the Australian screen industry.
  • We have conducted a survey of the impact on Victoria’s PDV sector and supporting disciplines including animation and visual effects that provide the opportunity to work from home.
  • The Victorian Government has recently announced a $2.2 million Sustaining Creative Workers initiative which will deliver quick-response funding to creative practitioners, sole traders, freelancers and micro-organisations/businesses with five or more years of professional experience. If you fall within these groups, we encourage you to visit the Creative Victoria website for more information about how the program can support activities including research and development of new ideas, skills development, the exploration of new ways to engage audiences or find new markets for creative works. Applications are now open.

The team at Film Victoria continues to work from home and continue to provide support to the industry. You can reach the team by contacting our Industry Support Hotline on 03 9660 3215 (monitored Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm) or by viewing the staff list here. Our latest updates and resources relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here.

Once again, I encourage you to reach out to those who may be facing challenges and continue to support our industry by watching and playing locally made content.

Caroline Pitcher
CEO, Film Victoria