The Australian Film Commission (AFC) is calling for recognition of the special status of Australia's film and media industries in trade agreements between Australia and the US.

The AFC held a briefing in Cannes yesterday (Monday) to coincide with the start of negotiations in Hawaii for a Free Trade Agreement within the World Trade Organisation between the two countries. Australia's film industry is concerned that the agreement could erode its local content regulations and funding mechanisms.

Australian producer Andrew Mason, one of the executive producers on The Matrix Reloaded, added his voice to the campaign: 'It is the success of our local industry that provides the launching pad for high-profile Australian film creators and performers and the local industry can only survive and prosper with continued regulation and subsidy.'

Australian movies currently account for about 10% of domestic box office compared to 70% for films from the US.