Screen Australia Offers over $3 Million More through its Enterprise Program

The program seeks to help production companies build their businesses.

SYDNEY -- Screen Australia is to make AUS$3million ($3.18 million) available over three years from the latest round of its Enterprise Program, to help qualifying production companies build their businesses and enhance their sustainability, as companies that have received grants are on their way to building sustainable businesses, the agency said on Wednesday.

The $3.18 million sits on top of $12.72 million already provided by the agency to 17 companies in the last two years, with the funding helping increase revenues, royalties and distributions for both TV and film projects, according to SA chief executive Ruth Harley.

In 2009-10 company revenues were up 12% overall, with royalties increasing by 9% and income from distribution increasing by 17%. Almost half of the 12 companies generated new revenue streams.

“Enhanced capacity through Enterprise funding has enabled company producers to recruit key creative and managerial personnel to oversee development and production. As a result projects in development have accelerated, particularly in the factual area with six of the 12 first-round companies reporting a total of 115 projects in development in 2009/10. This is anticipated to flow through to increased production levels,” Harley said.

“The initial achievements and progress of the Enterprise Program are extremely positive and all indicators suggest that companies are shaping up for long-term sustainability. They’re building alliances with complementary domestic production companies and international partners, attracting private investment, developing new revenue streams and demonstrating innovation in the online environment,” Harley added.  

She cited recently announced tie-ups with international partners by Enterprise funded companies as an indicative of the program's success.

The recent announcements of NBC Universal International’s investment in Matchbox Pictures, Hopscotch Features’ first-look deal with Universal Pictures International, and Playmaker Media’s first-look and overhead deal with Fremantle Media Enterprises demonstrate the potential of Enterprise companies to attract private finance and distribution support from major international players.

In addition three of the companies first provided with funding in 2009/10 have raised an additional $1 million from private finance.

Other recipients of the first lot of grants provided in the Enterprise program also included Goalpost Pictures Australia, Cordell Jigsaw, Essential Media and Entertainment, Hoodlum, Renegade Films, and Warp Films Australia.