“The Government ‘Scheme’ for Streamers is ambiguous and singularly unambitious.”
“We have a once in a generation opportunity to get the policy settings right.
Right for Australian audiences and right for the Australian screen industry.
We can and need to do better than this.”
We need a robust framework that better recognises the importance of Australian stories and Australian storytellers. That better encourages investment in a stronger and more vibrant independent Australian screen production industry. We need this to ensure future generations of Australians get to see themselves and their culture reflected at them from any screen.
A stark reminder of a deregulated screen sector is within living memory when, back in the 60’s, only 1% of drama on Australian screens was Australian. Firm regulatory action was called for by industry and public. Well-defined and well-administered broadcast content quotas proved to be the most effective solution. These were enshrined in our Broadcast Act, delivering an independent Australian screen production industry when there was none.
The Act is now 20 years old and never contemplated the exponential growth in reach and influence of online. It undoubtedly needs reform, but this reform must be future proof, it must seek to deliver on Australian Audience expectations and on well-established public policy objectives.
After a decade of public consultation, we think the government’s proposed Streaming Services Reporting & Investment Scheme does not.
Our submission calls for:
1. A minimum Australian content spend obligation for all streamers of 20% - in line with other forward-thinking countries - not the tepid 5% proposed which will not deliver what Australian audiences want nor what the industry needs.
2. Solid regulation now, not monitoring, and discretionary application down the track – and at the whim of future ministers who will be subject to intense lobbying from massive global media enterprises.
3. The urgent protection for at-risk genres now - including drama, documentary, kids, and First Nations - these cannot be in the gift of media conglomerate corporate strategy - the government’s deregulation last year has already delivered sharp declines in new commissions for kid’s and drama.
4. Fair terms of trade for the independent production community and recognition of a director’s ongoing copyright ownership - and their right to financially participate in a production’s future successes - without this, talented Australian creators will drift offshore.
5. The drama obligation for Subscription TV operators like Foxtel to be maintained - not cut in half - this would short-change the Australian public, is contrary to a Senate Committee recommendation and has no public policy justification.
After years of upheaval resulting from the global pandemic, the screen industry needs and the Australian public deserves a scheme that values them more, that better supports Australian stories and provides a much more ambitious and robust plan for screen industry growth.
“The vision set out by our government in its scheme is weak and unaspiring. Worse than that, the scheme, if implemented, risks sending us backwards to the 1960’s.”
Read our full submission here.
Get involved and have your say though the Make it Australian Campaign here.
TALENT GATEWAY PROGRAM
We’re so excited to announce the return of the Talent Gateway Program from Australians in Film & Screen Australia.
Talent Gateway provides our directors and screenwriters with the skills, knowledge and connections to succeed further in the US market.
Up to six delegates will be selected to participate in the bespoke program which will include roundtables, masterclasses, introductions with key US based screen decision makers and individualised mentorships. Each delegate will receive grants of up to $20,000 to enable them to take part in the program which will run from November 2022 to June 2023.
Funding will also be used to develop, refine and market the IP on their slate that receives any positive interest to quickly engage international partners for their careers and projects.
It’s an incredible opportunity and we are a very proud partner. Do not miss out. Applications close on the 12th of May. For more details & to apply click here.
THE AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS’ GUILD LAUNCHES ITS QUEENSLAND LOCAL2GLOBAL INITIATIVE, A CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SCREEN QUEENSLAND
THURSDAY 17 MARCH 2022: The Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) announced today the new Local2Global program in partnership with Screen Queensland. This high calibre skills development and production placement initiative will support up to 40 emerging, early-career and mid-career Queensland resident directors through a targeted series of workshops and seminars, aimed to accelerate directors’ careers and bolster Queensland’s directorial capacity. Read the full press release here.
More details about the program and eligibility can be found on the Screen Queensland website here, with applications through the ADG website here.
Applications are open now until 5pm on Thursday, 14th April 2022.