“The stories on our screens shape our sense of who we are”

Politicians from two sides have voiced support for the screen industry ahead of next week’s annual Screen Forever conference held by Screen Producers Australia.

Their comments come at a time of questions about political interference into public broadcasters, a fight to save Children’s TV and when the government is being pressured to release the findings of a Content Review.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “The stories on our screens shape our sense of who we are. And knowing who we are as Australians strengthen the bonds between us all. Whether it’s giving us a catch-cry like ‘tell him he’s dreamin’’ or ‘you’re terrible, Muriel’, or ‘what are your legs? Steel springs’ or a gritty portrayal of some of our most confronting issues, the films and TV shows we make reflect our rich Australian story. The industry itself is part of that great Australian story. The independent screen production sector supported nearly 20,000 jobs and generated around $1.2 billion in production revenue last year. That’s a great example of how this industry entertains us and sustains us.”

Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon, Mitch Fifield added that “Maintaining the skills and creativity of our industry to tell great Australian stories must continue to be a priority” a sentiment echoed by Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland MP, who spoke of the need to “foster the screen industry of the future, across the ecosystem, to sustain our creative capacity”.

Shadow Minister for Communications and the Arts Michelle Rowland MP said, “As Governments around the world, from the UK to China, recognise the creative industries as key strategic areas for development, we cannot afford to delay Australia’s progress as a creative nation.We need to foster the screen industry of the future, across the ecosystem, to sustain our creative capacity, encourage investment and innovation, create highly skilled and well paying jobs, retain our talent, and produce the stories that Australians love and which we export to the world.”

Jason Clare Shadow Minister for Trade & Investment said, “You are Australian story tellers – our cultural ambassadors to the world promoting our country and encouraging countless people to visit our shores. There is no doubt that the industry punches well above its weight, with the independent production sector generating more than $1.2 billion in production revenue in 2017 … We need to make sure we keep the industry growing. This is what this conference is all about and I am sure you will find it as useful as you will enjoyable.”

Tony Burke Manager of Opposition Business added, “This conference plays an important role in shaping our Australian identity. It is a fantastic opportunity to connect with screen industry professionals, learn from the masters, engage with the issues that are facing the industry, and be inspired to go out and create the great Australian stories that we all know and love. It is through the stories told on our screens, projected into movie theatres and lounge rooms around the country, that we as a nation get to grow…”

Screen Forever takes place Nov 20 – 22 in Melbourne.

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