The government of the Australian state of Victoria has announced that Miramax Films is to make the horror/thriller Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark in Melbourne.

Only yesterday the Queensland Government announced that The Chronicles Of Narnia, The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader is to be filmed in Queensland.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark is the directorial debut of Troy Nixey, who is working from a script that was adapted from a 1970s telemovie of the same name by Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Matthew Robbins (MIMIC).

Del Toro and Mark Johnson are producing the film, which tells of a young girl who discovers that sinister creatures are living beneath the stairs when she is sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend. Filming begins in a few months.

Johnson is also one of the producers on the Narnia film, which is being directed by Michael Apted (Gorillas In The Mist) for Walden Media and 20th Century Fox. It will be filmed from late July to early November.

Three weeks ago reported the New South Wales Government announcement that Martin Campbell’s The Green Lantern was coming across the Pacific to Sydney and predicted the arrival of the other two projects.

After a worryingly low level of offshore production in Australia, all three east coast studios – the Warner Roadshow Studios in south-east Queensland, Fox Studios Australia in Sydney and Melbourne City Studios – are now booked.

The behaviour of all three state governments in relation to these films hints at the significant economic boost a big runaway film can give to the local economy, the kudos Hollywood delivers – and how competitive it can be between the states to secure the work.

“In one of the Australian film industry’s most hotly-contested marketing campaigns, Queensland fought fierce interstate and international competition for this coveted project and is now in final discussions to become the enchanted world of Narnia,” Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Anna Bligh said yesterday.

She said the Pacific Film and Television Commission worked closely with Warner Roadshow Studios for two years to attract the production and the studios offered a financial incentive to secure the project.

The Victorian Government emphasised that the Miramax film would create more than 500 jobs – and again justified its support for the creation of Melbourne City Studios in 2004: “To date, movies filmed at the studios have injected more than $350m (A$460m) into the Victorian economy and over 7,000 jobs.’’