Australia’s government is rolling out a number of new funds and offsets to finance the creation of new projects and help the country’s entertainment industry grow.
The support includes US$9.2 million (AUD$11.9 million) pledged over the next four years to The Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), which has previously backed First Day and Are You Stronger Than Your Ancestors? The nonprofit producer/distributor will unveil its first batch of new shows receiving funding next month, according to ACTF CEO Jenny Buckland.
Screen Australia, meanwhile, has announced the five recipients of its US$1-million (AUD$1.3-million) production fund.
Two of the projects are aimed at kids, including Cheeky Little Media’s Ginger & the Vegesaurs (pictured), which was first pitched at Kidscreen’s Asian Animation Summit event in 2018. This 20 x 11-minute animated series revolves around a pack of friendly dinosaurs who adventure through a dino-filled valley. Ginger & the Vegesaurs is headed to YouTube and the ABC’s online VOD platform iview, but its premiere date hasn’t been announced yet.
Screen Australia also funded season two of Epic Films’ First Day, which was renewed late last year and will also premiere on iview.
As part of the new budget it tabled yesterday, the Australian government also introduced a 30% tax offset for creators of digital games to bolster the country’s gaming industry. And it will allocate US$9.8 million (AUD$12.7 million) to a new program focused on helping small businesses adopt new technology.
Finally, Australia committed to maintaining a 40% offset—which was originally set to drop to 30% in July—for producers of feature-length films and documentaries, including titles for kids.