Australian and UK film bodies ro encourage co-productions through two-day event in London.

A two-day co-production forum aimed at encouraging new relationships between UK and Australian producers will be held in London in May.

The scheme received formal approval this week from the board of marketing body Ausfilm, which is working with the UK Film Council as well as Australian government agencies.  It will be held on May 10 – 11.

Jackie O’Sullivan, Ausfilm chief executive, said: “The forum is project-specific, with an emphasis on forming new relationships that will develop films from scratch that would not otherwise be produced, with the benefits being seen in two, three or four years time.”

An open invitation will be extended to UK producers, especially the most active in the business with about 30 expected to be involved, while 16 Australian producers who have already made at least one co-production are expected to participate. They will be selected by the state-based agencies Film Victoria, Screen New South Wales, Screen Queensland, and the South Australian Film Corporation. Places at the forum will also be open to Ausfilm members that are involved in content development.

Ruth Harley (pictured), the chief executive of Screen Australia, and Martha Coleman, head of development, will both attend the event. Screen Australia administers the country’s co-production programme and its 40% producer offset.

Co-productions have received a boost in Australia since the launch of the producer offset three years ago. Films made under official co-production treaties are able to claim the offset as are international projects that pass the “significant Australian content” test.