Producer Andrew Mason has been appointed to the board of the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) for three years.
Although best known as someone who shepherds offshore films such as The Matrix through Australia, he has also been building a local production business. Mason replaces Laurie Patton, who has fulfilled the permissible two terms. Lawyer Shane Simpson, the FTO chair, and Sarah Dowland, a producer at highly acclaimed visual effects houses Animal Logic, have both been re-appointed to the state agency.
The FTO spent $4.4m (A$7.834m) in 2001/02m, with $2m (A$3.539m) going on operating expenses and the rest on grants and subsidies to filmmakers. It has about $1.1m (A$2m) to spend on production investment per year, plus a $2.8m (A$5m) production loan fund.
About half of all production in Australia occurs in NSW and its capital Sydney.