With Queensland's film industry on a high following the global success of Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe as well as many other features and series in recent years, the state government has announced the launch of a $3 million Business Enterprise fund to attract talent and boost the creation of Intellectual Property (IP) in the local screen sector.
Run by Screen Queensland, the program will span over three years and provide grants of up to $150,000 per year for emerging and established businesses. It will also work with the local sector to provide support for strategies that aim to employ more staff, engage consultants and pursue expansion both at home and abroad.
To be eligible for the grant, applicants must be registered and based in Queensland, with activities undertaken as a part of the program also predominantly delivered in the Sunshine State.
“Business Enterprise will provide vital support for the sustainable growth of Queensland screen businesses, supporting local production while building the development and retention of Queensland Intellectual Property,” Screen Queensland CEO Jacqui Feeney said.
“Queensland is rich with stories yet to be told and through Business Enterprise, Screen Queensland is proudly investing in our state’s screen businesses so that they can lead the sector’s future - creating more homegrown screen stories from broader perspectives, to engage audiences locally and internationally,” Feeney said.
According to a 2023 report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Queensland screen businesses generated more than $484 million in 2021–22, reflecting an increase of 129 per cent since 2015–16. Employment across the state’s screen sector also grew by more than 226 per cent in that time.
In the 2022–23 financial year, Screen Queensland supported 19 local productions with Screen Finance funding, with a further 39 projects receiving development support.
More than 90 per cent of total projects supported by Screen Queensland were locally-led, including productions and digital games supported through Screen Finance and various other funding programs.
Recently supported productions include the critically acclaimed limited Netflix series Boy Swallows Universe, which was filmed in the Brisbane suburbs of Beenleigh and Chelmer. After its first full week of being available to audiences, the series managed to rank third place globally for English-language TV on the streaming platform and also cracked the IMDb global Top 20.
Other productions to receive support include Bluey, Apples Never Fall, Mortal Kombat 2, Eden, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Land of Bad, Nautilus, Elvis, Thirteen Lives, and Ticket to Paradise.
“The Business Enterprise grants will support the sector to focus on scalable expansion over the next three years, creating additional employment opportunities and increased economic outcomes for the state’s economy,” Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said.
“Screen Queensland’s Business Enterprise program is a key new element in the Government’s commitment to growing a diverse, inclusive and viable local screen industry which will continue to support local productions just like the world-wide hit adaptation of Boy Swallows Universe.”
Applications for Business Enterprise are open, and will close on 22 March 2024.
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