Australia became Hollywood Down Under during the pandemic years, with blockbuster film production generating billions of dollars for the local economy.
Big stars like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Zac Efron, Chris Hemsworth and Colin Farrell have all made films in Australia from 2021 onwards.
And now there are fears that the new Albanese government could pave the way for Hollywood to swallow the local industry whole, reports Sydney Morning Herald,
There are fears that the new Albanese government could pave the way for Hollywood to swallow the local industry whole, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Image: A scene from Elvis starring Austin Butler and filmed in Queensland
Triggering concern among local filmmakers is research For a new cultural policy.
Calling for submissions, the government is no longer prioritizing Australian stories.
It calls on filmmakers to consider, “the centrality of the artist: supporting the artist as an activist and celebrating his role as a creator of culture”.
Calling for submissions to support the development of a new cultural policy, the government is no longer prioritizing Australian stories Image: Chris Hemsworth in Spiderhead
In 2013 the National Cultural Policy set a goal to ‘support the excellence and the special role of artists … as a source of original work and ideas, including telling Australian stories’.
A spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that The call-out for submissions was a way of generating debate about cultural policy.
Local filmmaker Leonie Marsh told the publication that the government needed to clearly define ‘Australian and Australian Stories.’
Filmmaker George Miller: His Mad Max films are the only Hollywood-backed blockbusters made here with any strong cultural ties to Australia
“Otherwise it would be other people, like Hollywood, with potential vested interests who would do it for us that do not represent our cultural values as a nation,” she said.
Sydney producer Emil Sherman, who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech, is part of a 15-member panel that will advise the government of the new national cultural policy.
The news comes after a huge slate of Hollywood-backed projects – many built under generous tax incentives – have been completed in Australia from 2020.
A scene from Thirteen Lives – directed by renowned American filmmaker Ron Howard and filmed in Queensland, deals with the AU$79 million 2018 theatrical Tham Luang cave rescue
Productions provided thousands of jobs to local cast and crew.
These include the Amazon Prime Video drama Thirteen Lives starring Joel Edgerton and Viggo Mortensen.
Directed by renowned American filmmaker Ron Howard and filmed in Queensland, the AU$79 million deals with the 2018 theatrical Tham Luang Cave Rescue.
Superstar Chris Hemsworth completes two blockbusters Down Under from 2021: Thor: Blood and Thunder, set in Sydney, and Netflix thriller, Spiderhead, shot in Queensland
Superstar Chris Hemsworth completed two blockbusters Down Under from 2021: Thor: Blood and Thunder, made in Sydney, and the Netflix thriller, Spiderhead, filmed in Queensland.
George in 2021 Clooney and Julia Roberts filmed Ticket to Paradise $6.4million from the Australian Government as part of the Location Incentive Program.
Meanwhile, Baz Luhrmann proudly recreated American locations in Queensland, including Memphis and Las Vegas, over the past two years for his Hollywood-produced Elvis bio pic.
The only Hollywood-backed blockbusters with any Australian content in recent years are George Miller’s Mad Max films: Fury Road (2015), which were made in Africa and Sydney; and its prequel Furiosa, now being filmed in Broken Hill, NSW. Both are set in post-apocalyptic Australia.
In 2020 the federal government injected $400 million in location incentive grants to lure filmmakers to Australia at the peak of the pandemic.
In 2020 the federal government injected $400 million in location incentive grants to lure filmmakers to Australia at the peak of the pandemic. Image: A scene from Elvis starring Austin Butler and filmed in Queensland