The biggest annual gathering of producers, the SPAA (ScreenProducers Association of Australia) conference, will this year move back to itstraditional November time slot but stay on the Queensland Gold Coast for thenext three years.

Queensland Premier Paul Beattie also announced that the 8thLexus Inside Film Awards will be staged on Friday November 17, the final day ofthe conference. It will be the first time they have been held outside Sydneyand linked to another event.

Beattie enticed SPAA to Queenslandin August 2004 by offering more sponsorship than any other State Government.The conference was previously held in Melbournefor three years, and before that, for three years in Sydney.

When that deal was struck SPAA said the relocationrecognized that south-east Queenslandwas a growing production centre and provided an opportunity to forgerelationships with the distributors and exhibitors who gather nearby at theAustralian International Movie Convention (AIMC) at around the same time.

SPAA executive director Geoff Brown noted that the one-nightshowcase of upcoming Australian films, organized by the Australian FilmCommission, would continue to be part of the AIMC and said SPAA would offer torun some additional sessions.

He said teaming up with the Inside Film Awards should not beseen as preferring them over the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards, whichwere considerably revitalised last year only to be hit by in-fighting lastmonth.

"We don't see them as being in competition with each otherand support both although there may be some awkwardness around the dates thisyear," said Brown. "We have been talking to the new AFI chair and the producerPaul Dainty."

The discussions between SPAA and the Queensland Governmenttouched on adding a new awards system covering the Asia Pacific region sometimeduring the next three years deal. Queenslandannounced these planned awards a couple of years ago.

The AIMC runs from August 14 -17 at theRoyal Pines. The SPAA conference runs from November 14 - 17 at theSheraton Mirage. The conference includes the financing market SPAAMart and the competitive digital film festival DigiSPAA.