A record-breaking 41 films went into production in Australia in the 12 months up to June 30, according to statistics released today by Screen Australia.
This wasmore productionsthan in any other annual period for at least 20 years.
Cameras rolled on five international co-productions, 29 wholly Australianproductionsand seven foreign films.
- Five international co-productions
With the five-year average at three co-productions a year, the five international co-productions for 07/08 were together worth $59m (A$93m).
This is more than double the five-year average in terms of both total budget and the expenditure in Australia.
The expenditure in Australia was $31m (A$49m) for 07/08.
These five international co-productions were Bright Star and Triangle - both official UK co-productions, Goblin Shark Attack, an official Canada co-production, and Knowing and Broken Hill, both unofficial US co-productions.
All five co-productions were principally financed from abroad, and foreign investors provided 47 percent of the total expenditure on these and the 29 Australian films.
- 29 wholly Australian productions
The 29 Australian films in the survey had a total budget of $81m (A$128m) compared to the five-year average of $93.5m (A$147m).
The annual totals are always skewed by whether there are any high-budget and therefor foreign-financed Australian titles in the mix (such as Australia in the 06/07 figures).
There were no very high-budget films in the 07/08 statistics and removing them from other years made the past year the highest on record.
- Seven foreign films produced in Australia
Seven foreign films went into production during the same period, including high-profile US films X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Nim's Island. Most of the others were Indian films.
The seven foreign films were worth $121 (A$190m), 55 percent or $67m (A$105m) of which was spent in Australia. This Australian expenditure was down on the five-year average of $94m (A$148 million).
- Rise in post, digital or visual effects (PDV) work
A further 14 films spent $8.3m (A$13m) on post, digital or visual effects (PDV) work in Australia without shooting in the country.
PDV figures have only been gathered and collated for the last three years and the numbers have risen year-on-year, probably due to the financial incentives introduced about two years ago.
- Too early to judge effects of new financing systems
The 2007/2008 figures on Australian film, television and documentary production that Screen Australia released today happen to correspond with the country bedding down a completely new financing system.
With the total of 41 titles being a record number, it might suggest that it is a mistake to throw out the old financing system, but the expenditure picture is complex, and box office revenue, recoupment and profits are never measured in this particular annual survey.
Thirteen of the 34 films (29 wholly Australian and five international co-productions) were financed substantially by Australian state and federal governments, principally through the now disbanded Film Finance Corporation.
The effect of the new producer offset which was put in place July 1, 2007 - allowing filmmakers to claim back 40% of their expenditure in Australia, is now starting to flow through the system but it is early as yet to draw any conclusions on it.