A COVID-safe plan has meant the film industry is back on set in Queensland, with two productions about to start and plans to get Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic filming again "as soon as possible".
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says two productions in Cairns and on the Gold Coast will start filming again, showing great confidence in recovery with 225 jobs to be created along with a $10 million in the state's economy.
"Rom-com feature film This Little Love of Mine, by Brisbane-based The Steve Jaggi Company, will start filming in Cairns and is part of our Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan designed to grow the industry in the region," she says.
"This production will create 25 local jobs and inject more than $1.5 million into the economy.
"Also resuming filming this month is the second season of The Bureau of Magical Things, on the Gold Coast, employing more than 200 cast and crew and injecting more than $8.5 million into the Queensland economy."
She says season three of Harrow is also poised to kickstart filming, while the government and Screen Queensland are also working to ensure major international productions can return to the State.
"We're working closely with Baz Luhrmann and his production team to recommence filming of the new "Elvis" movie at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast," the Premier says.
"We want to ensure that this can happen as soon as possible while making sure that the cast and crew can operate safely.
"Screen Queensland and Queensland Health are also currently developing a screen industry COVID safe plan that will be released shortly, paving the way for the whole sector to get rolling cameras again and crew back to work on sets."
The Premier notes the industry had been hit hard by COVID-19 in Queensland and around the world, but it is great to see the sector ramping up again.
"While the global pandemic may have forced productions into hiatus, the Queensland Screen industry has still been active - doing what they do best, creating and developing until productions can recommence," she says.
"Screen Queensland established a Queensland Screen Industry Task Force and announced a $3.3 million COVID-19 support package to support Queensland writers and producers and businesses.
"I look forward to announcing the start of more productions in our State soon, that are getting people back to work and our economy recovering."
The Bureau of Magical Things.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has been instrumental in developing the Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan, and welcomes the This Little Love of Mine production and crew to the Tropical North.
"The screen industry is rebounding and it's absolutely fantastic that the very first production to start up again will be filmed here in Cairns," says Pitt.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy says the film will showcase he stunning locations and lifestyle of Far North Queensland when released in cinemas in 2021, ideally timed to put the state in the spotlight for potential tourists.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford says he is sure the Cairns community will welcome the crew with open arms.
This is the third feature film to be shot in Queensland by The Steve Jaggi Company in less than 18 months, since relocating to Brisbane from Sydney in late 2019.
Producer Steve Jaggi says the production is led by a outstanding team of female talent in key creative roles.
"With director Christine Luby at the helm of this romantic comedy written by Australian screenwriter Georgia Harrison, we know we are on the right track to connect with our female target audience," Jaggi says.
It has been a challenging year for the screen sector, and we feel fortunate to be heading into production on this feature and would like to recognise the support of Screen Queensland in helping us get to this crucial point."
The film is produced by Kelly Son Hing, Spencer McLaren and Steve Jaggi, with Kylie Pascoe co-producing.
Updated at 11am AEST on 18 June 2020.
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