Spending on foreign films made in Australia over the last year was more than double thatspent on local films and Australian/international co-productions for the thirdconsecutive year.

The Australian Film Commission's comprehensive annualproduction survey revealed 22local projects worth £80m (A$106m), including three Australian/UKco-productions, spent £66m (A$87m) in Australia after beginning principalphotography during the 12 months under review.

Incomparison, nine foreign films worth $364m (A$482) million spent $183m(A$243m).

Foreignspend was similar to the previous year's but is well above the 10-year averageof $97m (A$129m).

In the pastfive years, 33 foreign features have been substantially shot in Australia,including 23 from the US.

The sixmost recent US films were Aquamarine, Charlotte's Web, Ghost Rider,Goodnight, The Marine and Superman Returns, alongside one each fromIndia, Germany and Thailand.

The 19Australian films represent three more than the previous year but remains wellshort of the 10-year average of 24 films.

Thecombined budget of $46m (A$61m) was considerably less than the previous $101m(A$134m) because of the absence of a big US-funded project.

In 2003/04that project was the animated not-yet-finished Happy Feet.

Fourteen ofthe 19 Australian films were made for less than $2.2m (A$3m) and only two formore than $7.5m (A$10m).

Each of theco-productions - Like Minds, Pobby And Dingan and The Proposition- cost more than $7.5m, however.

Governmentsources, principally Film Finance Corporation Australia, provided 42% of thetotal cost of the wholly Australian slate, investing A$25.9m in nine titles.They also partially funded Like Minds and put additional money intodistribution guarantees, loans and underwriting.

Privatesources invested $14.9m (A$19.7m) in the Australian slate, mainly due toJindabyne, which is currently in post-production. This was about double lastyear but was in line with the two previous years. Contributions from industry,particularly those from television, tumbled to only $2.8m (A$3.7m), whichmainly flowed from distributors. Foreign investment was also low at $9.1m (A$12.1m)in five titles.