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SBS [Special Broadcasting Service] production fund retains funding commitment.



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Media Release

 

Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

 

SBS Production Fund Retains Funding Commitment

 

The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) will rec eive funding of $19 million over the next four years to allow it to continue the SBS Independent Production Fund (SBSI), the Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said today.

 

In 1994, SBS formed a separate unit, SBSI, to commission quality multicultural drama, features and documentaries, from the Australian independent production industry.

 

‘SBSI has been an outstanding success over the last four years, in terms of the quality and the quantity of the work produced, and because of the employment opportunities it has generated,’ Senator Alston said.

 

Since 1994, and an initial Government contribution of $13 million, the SBSI has leveraged more than $50m worth of production, resulting in 280 hours of locally produced drama and documentaries, and 50 international and local awards.

 

‘SBSI has maintained an innovative role in Australia’s film and television sector, working with many independent film makers and developing new talent on and off screen,’ Senator Alston said.

 

‘SBSI also provides a good model of production outsourcing, which has resulted in high quality products, and benefited the industry, the broadcaster and the audience.’

 

Over the next four years SBSI will give a greater focus to programs which reflect regional Australia, and young Australians from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

 

There will also be a concentration on low budget production, to maximise involvement across a wide range of projects, and with a focus on nurturing work from innovative new Australian filmmakers.

 

‘Employment and skill development opportunities will be created with a significant number of jobs going to people from non-English speaking backgrounds,’ Senator Alston said.

 

Media contact: Terry O’Connor, Minister’s office 02 6277 7480 or 0419 636 879

Website:  www.richardalston.dca.gov.au

 

Budget 2/98

12 May 1998