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SBS Independent: continuation of funding for the Special Production Fund.

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Media Release

Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

10 May 2005

SBS Independent - continuation of funding for the Special Production Fund

The Australian Government will continue to fund SBS Independent’s (SBSi) Special Production Fund with funding of $37.6 million over four years as part of the 2005-06 Federal Budget.

“The Australian Government is committed to helping the Australian production sector to continue to attract private finance and provide support for local productions,” the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan said.

SBSi, the independent commissioning arm of SBS television, has been operating since 1994 and administers the Special Production Fund, which is funded directly by the Australian Government, and the smaller General Production Fund, funded by SBS from its base funding.

“Since its inception SBSi has had great success with a range of documentaries, drama and films it has commissioned,” Senator Coonan said.

“SBSi funding is used to commission high quality films, drama and documentaries from the independent production sector that reflect Australia’s multicultural society and add to the diversity of Australian content in the domestic and overseas markets.

“SBSi has fostered the careers of many significant Australian filmmakers and actors including Khoa Do, 2005 Young Australian of the Year (Delivery Day), Deborah Mailman and Rachel Perkins (Radiance), Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet), David Caesar (Mullet), Toni

Colette and David Wenham (The Boys), Vince Colosimo (Walking on Water) and John Safran (John Safran vs God).”

Current funding for the Special Production Fund lapses at the end of 2005-06, but has been renewed in this Budget in recognition of the lead times associated with commissioning high quality productions.

SBSi will receive $9.1 million in 2006-07, $9.3 million in 2007-08, $9.5 million in 2008-09, and $9.7 million in 2009-10.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jane McMillan 0438 690 305