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Slump on film investment

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The Federal Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, Mr Barry Cohen, today responded to reports of a slump in Film Investment.

According to "The Australian", there are over $100 million worth of film and television projects now on offer to investors, but less than half will be financed by the end of the financial year. To describe this

as a 'slump' - or as one commentator would have it, a 'disaster' - is both mischievous and mistaken, Mr Cohen said.

Information supplied by the Australian Film Commission shows 12 feature films and 5 television mini-series -have been finances so far this year under the 133% tax concession, and an equal number are likely to be financed for future production by June 30.

This date will in many cases be a flexible deadline because investors now can come in well after that date, provided the film is underwritten, Mr Cohen said. Furthermore, Mr Cohen said, some feature'film producers blamed television mini-series for the problems they

encountered in raising finance.

The suggestion is that mini-series have seduced investors away from feature films, and that this is somehow bad for the industry. I think what has happened is that investors belatedly have recognised that the television market is much bigger and more secure than the market

for feature films.

In the end it must be acknowledged that television, is Australia's major entertainment medium, and it's a good thing if the film industry - through high quality television mini-series like "The Dismissal" - can reach television audiences.

The press delights in quoting the predictions of Sydney stockbroker Mr Dick Tanner, self appointed spokesman for the doom and gloom brigade. His comments once

again fly in the face of the facts. I am satisfied said Mr Cohen, that the current tax incentives will support a .viable..level of production comparable to that of the past year. . . .

18 May 1984 Parliament House CANBERRA