ABC bid for direct role in funding
Citing the apparent success of Aussie films on TV, the ABC says Screen Australia should hand over funding of television projects.
In its submission to the 2010 Review of the Australian Independent Screen Production Sector, the ABC has suggested Screen Australia stop funding television and hand the job over to the public broadcasters, ABC and SBS.
The submission is one of many being considered by Federal Arts Minister Peter Garrett.
The ABC suggests the new rebate financing model for film and TV, the producer offset, be increased to 40 per cent for TV productions.
Television is regularly seen as the “poor cousin” to film. The current government rebate on qualifying TV productions is 20 per cent, and 40 per cent for films.
The ABC’s submission to the review argues television often offers “greater cultural value for money” than film, citing the recent example of four Australian films, The Proposition, Oyster Farmer, Lucky Miles and Romulus, My Father, that were each viewed by more than 800,000 people on the ABC, for a total ABC audience of almost four million, whereas a total of 750,000 Australians saw the four films in cinemas.
“With the ABC behind them, these films made an impact on Australian cultural life and our sense of national identity that could not be emulated — not by cinema, not by pay-TV, and not by internet TV,” the submission states.
However, as previously reported by TV Tonight last February, the numbers for the films in 5 metro cities in overnight figures were actually softer:
The Oyster Farmer: 899,000
The Proposition: 577,000
Lucky Miles: 519,000
Romulus, My Father: 513,000
On those figures, only one would qualify as a TV success.
Meanwhile Samson and Delilah pulled 646,000 last November.
The ABC argues it is best placed to determine what local content Australians should see on TV, in concert with market-based decisions by the commercial broadcasters.
The industry review is currently under consideration by the Federal Government.
Source: The Australian