Film Finance Corporation Australia flings opens its doors tomorrow for applications from producers wanting to get an indication that their films will be certified Australianonce completed.
The provision certificates they will get (if successful) will give producers the starting point to start using the new film financing system introduced this year into Australia and based on a rebate: in broad terms, producers can claim back 40% of what they spend in Australia making films, providing they spend at least $1m.
Tomorrow the FFC also uploads onto its website more than 700 pages of legislation, rules and other detail about the new rebate. It won't just be producers that will be poring over them but also the new financiers that have emerged in recent months with an interest in cashflowing the rebate and perhaps also offering gap financing.
Just Superannuation, the fund attached to the union for journalists and entertainers, is working with Melbourne-based Industry Funds Management to establish a $50 million fund to cashflow Australian film and television production.
While some local banks are examining opportunities - The Commonwealth Bank is rumoured as being one but would not comment yesterday- it is film-experienced overseas banks that are expected to be the frontrunners.
These include Standard Chartered Bank, the Royal of Ireland and the Bank of Scotland. The Bank of Scotland is backing one of the first entities to put up their hand: International Film Group, formed by former Macquarie Bank film executive Jennie Hughes and UK-based financier Bill Allan.
Queensland filmmaker Richard Stewart and producer Grant Bradley are also in position. State government film agencies are also considering offering cashflow facilities.
The FFC will administer the rebate until June 30 next year but this task will then be taken over by a new superagency, Screen Australia. Australia got a new government last weekend - John Howard was turfed out by the Australian Labour Party after 11 years in office - but the overhaul announced in May is expected to still apply.