Australian film-makers and Australia-based productions have secured a funding boost worth $16.6m (A$31.6m) for the next four years from the state government of Victoria.
Film production secured an extra $8.2m over the period, bringing the toal available to about three times current levels. Local film administration and support agency Film Victoria, which is to be spun off from other fellow state-backed film bodies, is now likely to lift it current cap of $132,000 per project.
The Melbourne Film Office, which promotes Victoria as a location, will get $2.1m over four years. The body also secured a significant $6.3m boost over two years to its existing cash flow facility.
The increased support, unveiled in this week's state budget, will also extend to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, intended as a nexus between the film industry and the general public. The centre receives $6.9m over four years, plus a one-off cash injection of $7.2m to complete the necessary technological infrastructure before its 2002 opening.
The hike follows more than two years of intense lobbying across all sectors to convince successive governments that Victoria was falling behind other Australian states.
"I can tell you now that every person in the industry is delighted at this announcement," said Sue Marriott from the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. "The industry here has been starved of funds for years and this money will allow us to make Victoria the centre of creative and production excellence once more."