Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC) chief executive Brian Rosen has confirmed that the funding bodyhas backed off from a proposal to ask for more money from its feature filminvestment partners.
As it always does at thistime of year, the FFC has been conducting open meetings with Australian filmmakersand liaising with key industry bodies over several proposed changes to itsfunding guidelines, including this one.
"The industry at large feelswe should stay the way we are," said Rosen, adding that producers felt thecurrent requirements were already difficult enough to work around.
Those requirements, whichonly apply to producers that choose to go through the "marketplace door", includea 45% cap on FFC investment in any one Australian film and a 30% cap in thecase of international co-productions. The proposed but now-discarded caps were35% and 25% respectively.
The FFC has also proposedsetting aside $7.3m (A$10m) for co-investing in one or two films per year thatit believes will be good enough to release wide and satisfy mainstreamaudiences.
Rosen calls thesemulti-generational" films and says romantic comedies may be a suitable genre todevelop under this proposal. These films will have bigger-than-usual budgetsand the FFC would consider exceeding its usual $3.7m (A$5m) cap, in all casesalongside banks, private or industry investors.
These films will comethrough the more subjective "evaluation door", but if no films are suitable the$7.3m will be used for other films before year end.
The FFC has alreadyallocated, to 16 films, the $29.4m (A$40m) it has for feature production forthe 12 months up to June 30. Six films have gone through the marketplace doorand 10 through evaluation.
A further plan, to have theFFC board consider applications and allocate investment every three monthsinstead of each month, is certain to be implemented. The pressure on funds is very high and theaim is to better spread the money throughout the year.