Australia has a rich history of film and television; however, the process of funding and investing in various productions have changed immensely over time. In recent years, Australia has been involved in financing some fantastic films, including “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), “The Great Gatsby” (2013) and “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016).
During the 1970s, most Australian feature films were funded through government agencies, such as the NSW Film Corporation, the Australian Film Commission, the Victorian Film Corporation and the South Australian Film Corporation. Private investment companies had little to no role at all in Australian film production at that time.
The 1980s – the changes start
Public companies monopolised the funding of films during the 1970s; however, that soon started to change during the 1980s. The 1980s saw a lot of feature films funded entirely via private or “non-industry” finance. This occurred because of changes to the 10BA tax incentive scheme, which saw public agencies play a less seminal role in the funding of Aussie films.
The 1990s and 2000s – reverting to the norm
Direct funding from government agencies again dominated film funding during the 1990s. The Film Finance Corporation of Australia (FFC) was a significant driver of this change, and this trend continued well into the 2000s. Private investment continued to grow during the 2000s.
Attracting foreign finance
For a lot of filmmakers and directors, attracting foreign investment is the primary goal. However, this isn’t always easy (especially for local directors and actors), and is usually only possible if the creator of the film is internationally known or highly regarded. Directors like Baz Luhrmann, George Miller, Mel Gibson and Peter Weir fit into this category. At the same time, international acting talent like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe can generate foreign interest.