Netflix makes the most of incentives with third feature film for Queensland

Netflix makes the most of incentives with third feature film for Queensland

Streaming giant Netflix is making the most of government incentives, loading up for another Queensland production to be filmed on the Gold Coast - its third in the past year.

The feature film, to be produced by Brisbane-based Hoodlum Entertainment, stars US singer and actor Victoria Justice and Australia's Adam Demos.

The announcement comes on the heels of recent Netflix Original productions Escape from Spiderhead, starring Chris Hemsworth, and True Spirit, the Jessica Watson biopic currently being filmed on the Gold Coast.

Production and post-production of the movie, secured by Screen Queensland's production attraction incentive, is expected to inject $8 million into the local economy and create 120 local jobs.

The film, which has yet to be titled, centres on an American wine importer, played by Justice, who travels to an Australian sheep station where she falls for the Aussie charms of Demos, a regular on Netflix originals with starring roles in Sex/Life and Falling Inn Love.

Justice first shot to fame on Nickelodeon about 15 years ago, playing Lola Martinez in Zoey 101, a comedy-drama series. Demos has been a regular on Australian screens since 2009, more recently in Janet King and Unreal.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich says the repeat business from Netflix reflects the 'strength and competitiveness' of Queensland's incentives, locations, skilled local crew and post-production facilities. 

"We are excited to see Hoodlum producing this global feature film, and proud to have supported all three seasons of Hoodlum's ABC crime series Harrow, their celebrated 2018 Netflix Original series Tidelands and their comedic First Nations co-production All My Friends Are Racist.

"Screen Queensland is succeeding in our mission to promote Queensland as a global production hub that can provide local and international productions with exactly what they need to create high-end, quality content for global audiences."

Other Queensland Government-supported productions currently filming include Universal Studios Group's series Joe Exotic at Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane, new ABC crime series Troppo and teen series Taylor's Island for Fremantle Australia.

"This new Netflix film is the latest in a string of domestic and international productions continuing to fuel the state's screen boom which is critical to our economic recovery," says Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"This project is a strong example of how our Production Attraction Strategy benefits Queensland's local screen sector via exciting co-production arrangements for local businesses, such as Hoodlum Entertainment, one of the state's most successful production companies."

In June, the Queensland Government announced a $71 million boost for the local film industry, including $53 million for the production attraction strategy.

Video on demand boon for industry

Meanwhile, new figures released today show the subscription video on demand (SVOD) sector has become a significant source of investment in Australian screen content.

The inaugural SVOD Australian content investment report published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that Amazon Prime, Disney, Netflix and Stan spent more than $150 million on Australian programs in 2019-20.

The expenditure is greater still with the addition of productions that are shot in Australia but not set here, amounting to $115 million over the same period including the $50 million production Clickbait that was filmed in Melbourne.

This takes the total investment in Australian and Australian-related content from SVODs to $268 million.

The report highlights the growing appetite domestically and internationally for local content, with over 3,000 hours of Australian content from more than 600 programs available on the four services.

"What we know from this initial report is that we have a sound starting point in terms of content, a good footprint overseas, and that more than 80 per cent of the $153 million expenditure was on commissioning or co-commissioning new Australian programs," says Paul Fletcher, the Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts.

Among the federal incentives for the industry are an increase in the Producer Offset rate for television content from 20 per cent to 30 per cent to encourage SVOD productions.

The government is also providing $110 million in 2021-22 to Screen Australia and the Australian Children's Television Foundation to support the development and production of Australian drama, documentary and children's screen content across film and television.

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