Amending traditional distribution deals so that producersget more control and a greater share of returns was the dominant theme at Australia's annual conference ofproducers. Splitting rights was proposed, for example, as was adoptingwebsite-based sales systems, forfeiting high sales prices in exchange for boxoffice bonuses and under-reporting sales figures to avoid raising expectationstoo high for a film to live up to.

Lifting production levels was another key preoccupation,although no foolproof solution emerged. Film Finance Corporation chief BrianRosen said he would like to see production numbers rise from the current 15 peryear to 30 or 40, providing they are diverse in story, budget and genre. Butwithout extra funding there has to be a rationalization, he said. There aresimply too many players.

The conference of the Screen Producers Association ofAustralia was held in Queensland for the first time in over a decade andincluded the second edition of the pre-financing market SPAAMart.

One of the participants was Paul Brett from tax- basedfinancier Prescience, who said that at least eight of the 23 projects presentedwere original enough to go forward.