Aussies to push new co-pro guidelines

Howarth to speak at Film Policy Forum Sunday

SYDNEY -- Following Screen Australia's revision of its co-production guidelines, the agency's head of production investment Ross Howarth will provide an overview of the changes to Asian filmmakers at the Pusan International Film Festival on Sunday.

Under the new more flexible guidelines, unveiled at MIPCOM, the points system for qualifying projects has been expanded to include credits for heads of department including VFX supervisors, costume designers, sound designers and, in the context of animation, the key model designer. 

Other key changes include recognition of non-party writers, and the introduction of greater expenditure flexibility relative to finance. As well, Screen Australia can now provide a preliminary compliance letter to provide support when accessing finance. 

Official co-productions also automatically get access to Australia's producer offset, providing a tax rebate of 40% for qualifying feature films and 20% for TV and documentaries. 

Speaking as part of the Asian Film Policy Forum, Howarth will look specifically at the official Australian-Chinese co-production treaty. 

Two features have been made under that treaty, signed in 2006: war drama, "The Children of Huang Shi," and upcoming kids' CGI feature, "The Dragon Pearl," which is being produced by South Australia's AMPCO Films, and China's Hengdian Film Production Company.

Howarth's presentation is part of the Asian Film Policy Forum, being held at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel at 11:40 am on Sunday.