Performers, producers, writers, directors and crew are joining forces to campaign for the future of the screen industry. We want Australian stories told on Australian screens by us, to us, about us. We want to Make It Australian.
Stories have been told on this continent for thousands of generations.
We want Australian stories told on Australian screens by us, to us, about us because no-one else will tell stories of the diversity of Australian experiences in our unique Australian landscapes.
But story-telling on screen is at risk. Our capacity to make it Australian is at risk because:
- The rules that ensure Australian stories appear on Australian screens must evolve so that new players like Netflix, YouTube, Stan, ISPs and Telcos have obligations to create original local programs.
- Major supporters of Australian stories – Screen Australia and the ABC – have had their funding cut year after year.
- Commercial TV broadcasters want to walk away from any requirement to create children’s content.
- Tax incentives that encourage production in Australia are no longer competitive.
The campaign references the successful “TV – Make it Australian” campaign of the 1960s and 1970s. In response to a parlous situation where only 1 per cent of drama on commercial networks was Australian – the other 99 per cent foreign – the industry sought local content obligations on commercial broadcasters. The Australian Film, Television and Radio School was also established out of the original campaign.
The policy and political background
The campaign has been launched in response to a number of developments this year:
- a Parliamentary Inquiry into the sustainability of the Australian film and television industry
- a content review, undertaken jointly by the Department of Communication and the Arts, Screen Australia and the ACMA;
- Media reform, where the Government has conceded to One Nation demands to conduct a “competitive neutrality” review of the ABC;
- The EU has brought in a 30 per cent local content obligation on SVODs.
What the campaign is asking for
The campaign is seeking a strong government commitment to a sustainable film and television industry for producers, cast and crew, writers and directors that supplies a diversity of quality Australian content for Australian and international audiences.
To this end, the campaign is asking for:
- Local content obligations to be evolved to include new market entrants (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, telcos, ISPs);
- Competitive tax offsets (producer, PDV and location);
- Well-funded public broadcasters and screen agencies.