After a couple of years oftrying, the two organisations representing Australian producers officiallyformed an alliance this week, just in time for the upcoming review intogovernment film financing.

The Screen Producers'Association of Australia (SPAA) and Independent Producers' Initiative (IPI)have joined together to form the Independent Feature Film Producers ofAustralia Alliance (IFPAA).

The new body intends to holdan open meeting of producers in Melbourne on July 27 to work on a co-ordinated approach to thereview and to industry needs generally.

"As the people who bringtogether the creative and technical contributors to make films, we [producers]are now looking for ways to create a better environment for film-making," saidIPI executive director Linda Tizard.

The industry is expected touse the review to strongly press for a better framework in which to enticeprivate sector investment into film: it is generally agreed that it is the onlyway to grow the sector.

That there are problems wasillustrated last week when two major film companies abandoned their fundraisingplans just before the end of the financial year: Future Films Australia blamedan inefficient Australian Tax Office and government-sanctioned The FLIC Companypleaded that they did not have enough time.

The key producers behindIFPAA are Vincent Sheehan, Melanie Coombs and Trish Lake, from SPAA, and Jane Scott, Helen Bowden, JohnMaynard and Robert Connolly, from IPI.

The two organisations arevery different beasts: IPI is an informal network compared to SPAA, anindustrial body that represents many types of producers.

After several years ofnegotiations the industry also signed off on the new Actors' Feature FilmAgreement this week.

The establishment of aScreen Council, to represent all parts of the film industry, was first mootednearly a year ago and is still the subject of discussions.