SCREEN QLD INVESTS $1.5M IN NEW PRODUCTIONS

SCREEN QLD INVESTS $1.5M IN NEW PRODUCTIONS

POPULAR television show Mako is returning to the Gold Coast to film a third series, creating more than 500 jobs for the local industry.

Mako: Island of Secrets will start filming in 2015 and is one of three television series to film in the state of Queensland next year including series two of The Code - an ABC political thriller and The Family Law - a six-part series to show on SBS.

Screen Queensland chief executive officer Tracey Vieira says the boom in television production showed that Queensland was competitive in the global screen space.

"Commercially viable productions such as Mako give us the competitive edge," Vieira says.

"The first series of Mako, which aired two years ago, had an estimated 150 million worldwide viewers and achieved a world first as the 'first live-action Netflix Original children's series' in the US.

"This is in no small part due to the award-winning team at Jonathan M Shiff Productions which continues to create hits, with the Mako mermaids especially attracting pre-teen viewers.

"Jonathan's productions have sold to more than 170 countries and are performing well in the US, Germany, Canada, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Latin America."

Executive producer of Mako Jonathan Shiff says the mermaid fantasy adventure has been a wonderful success.

"Throughout the series, the brightest star has been the appealing and stunning backdrop of the Gold Coast and the extraordinary talent and skills of local cast and crew," he says.

"We are privileged to bring Mako to the world and delighted to partner with the Queensland Government in order to do this."

The 16 half-hour episodes planned for Mako: Island of Secrets will be the finale in the series. It will screen in Australia on Network Ten, plus the Disney Channel, ZDF Enterprises in Germany and Netflix worldwide.

Arts Minister Ian Walker says the Newman LNP Government has been working hard to turn Queensland's screen industry around.

"There were no international productions in 2009-2010 or 2011-2012 financial years and we faced an uphill climb to get the screen industry moving again," he says.

"In the past couple of years we've brought Unbroken, San Andreas and Modern Family to Queensland, with Pirates of the Caribbean filming here next year."

He says Screen Queensland is investing about $1.5 million into these three new TV productions, which are expected to reap returns of about $10.9 million in Queensland Production Expenditure (QPE) to the state's economy and create hundreds of jobs.

"This is another win for Queensland television production, which is the backbone of our screen industry," he says.

The Code is produced by Playmaker Media, while The Family Law by Matchbox Pictures is based on Benjamin Law's popular novel about growing up in a small town in Queensland.

Picture: Mako mermaids Gemma Forsyth and Emma Durant with Arts Minister IanWalker.

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