Screen Production Fund Guidelines

The Screen Production Fund co-funds the production of high quality feature films, television series and other screen projects from ACT or interstate practitioners undertaken in the ACT; that have significant Canberra elements and benefit; and are capable of reaching local and international audiences and delivering commercial success. A total of $400,000 is available to support productions in 2015–16. ScreenACT, the office of Film, Television and Digital Media will assist the ACT Government to deliver the Fund.

Objectives

  • promote the quality and quantity of screen productions in Canberra; 
  • contribute to the growth and sustainability of Canberra’s screen industry; and
  • contribute to the profile of Canberra nationally and internationally.

Eligible applicants

Must be:

  • ACT or non-ACT based practitioners that will undertake their work in the ACT or are in a genuine partnership with an ACT based practitioner;
  • Australian citizens or permanent residents;

Projects are required to have finance partners and market commitment (e.g. broadcasting licence, presale, distribution guarantee or advance from reputable companies) in place before seeking ACT Government funding.  Projects that have already commenced production are generally not eligible to apply for funding – except where such projects demonstrate significant levels of marketplace support and other funding in place and/or significant achievement in the project’s creative elements to date. 

Funding Levels

The ACT Government co-funds projects with other financing partners with the expectation that the ACT contribution will trigger additional expenditure in the ACT. Funded amounts are guided by the ACT spend, with every $1 provided expected to trigger at least $4 in ACT expenditure.

Applications made to other funding sources in relation to the project must be disclosed and where other finance has been secured, the conditions attached to that finance provided.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria are used to assess applications for production funding:

  • the proposed ACT spend relative to the requested funding;
  • the project’s economic, cultural and creative benefits to the ACT;
  • the creative quality and readiness of the project to go into production;
  • the market potential of the project;
  • the track record or potential of the applicant; and
  • the proposed use of ACT talent, personnel, services, facilities and locations.

Priority is given to ACT applicants. Non-ACT applicants need to demonstrate that they will undertake a significant proportion of their work in the ACT.

Funding is competitive and successful applicants cannot be guaranteed to receive their full request from the fund even when their application substantially meets the criteria.

For projects with Indigenous community participation or content, applicants must follow the protocols as set out in Screen Australia’s Pathways & Protocols – A filmmaker’s guide to working with Indigenous people, culture and concepts.

Application and assessment process

All potential applicants are advised to contact ScreenACT in the first instance to discuss and confirm the suitability of their project for the screen production funding. ScreenACT will then refer the applicants to the Screen Fund, which may invite them to apply.
Applicants are required to submit a completed application form plus any required supporting material (including video material) via online delivery using the smarty grants online application management system.

An independent fund panel assesses the funding applications and makes recommendations to the ACT Government. The final decision is made by the delegate of the ACT based on these recommendations.

Additional information may be requested during the assessment process and applicants may be asked to present before the panel. The fund also reserves the right to contact and discuss the project with any party associated with the application.

Contracting and funding disbursement

Successful applicants will enter into funding agreements with the ACT Government. Funds will be disbursed according to agreed milestones and the timing of other contributions, with final 10 per cent disbursed after the producer has delivered all the ACT Government deliverables. GST is payable on the funding provided.

For each approved project:

  • the applicant must demonstrate a clear chain of title for their project. This involves providing documents that establish ownership or control of all necessary rights by the applicant to fully develop, produce and market the project.
  • a reputable completion guarantor must be attached to the project. This requirement may be waived where the majority investor in the project agrees to waive this requirement.
  • the applicant is required to take out insurance consistent with industry standards.
  • the applicant is encouraged to take on project attachments.  Attachments provide emerging film practitioners with valuable, paid experience on the Fund supported projects. Applicants will liaise with ScreenACT to determine the appropriate areas for attachments.
  • subject to the producer’s obligations to the ACT Government, the producer will be granted full autonomy to manage all aspects of the creative process without undue interference.
  • all the ACT Government’s interest in the film other than copyright will revert to the producer five years after delivery of the project.

The ACT Government requires for each approved project:

  • acknowledgement of its support with a credit on the project, its publicity materials and on any other documentation produced. The required credit for each project will be part of the funding agreement.
  • a 1 per cent copyright interest in the project in perpetuity.
  • an entitlement to recoup the funded amount from the gross receipts pro rata pari passu with the equity investors.
  • a non-exclusive right to use excerpts and other promotional material from the production for its corporate, promotional and educational purposes.
  • the right of approval/ consultation over major changes to the project script, key personnel, finance plan, the budget, the use of funds and the rough cut.
  • reasonable access to production sets, locations and/or studios without  interfering with production.
  • the recipient to agree on a method of reporting and provision of an agreed acquittal. The reporting requirements will form part of the funding agreement.
  • the recipient to participate in interviews or surveys related to the evaluation of the Fund.
  • the right to an audit of the project and the ACT expenditure as a standard requirement unless otherwise stated in the project agreement.
  • the producer to deliver the items specified in the funding agreement to the Government and the items specified in the NFSA delivery deed to the National Film and Sound Archive.  

Freedom of Information

ACT Government Agencies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act which provides a general right of access to records held by government. Applicants should be aware that information pertaining to the receipt of ACT Government financial assistance will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly. This information may include the name of recipients and projects, the amount of the assistance, and a description of the funded activity. This could result in requests for more detail to be released publicly.

Acting 'in good faith'

The ACT Government acts in the public interest and must exhibit the highest levels of propriety when dealing with applicants. It requires applicants to act in the same way in their dealings with the Government. Applicants must be honest and open in all dealings and must not mislead the ACT Government by act or omission.

Applicants are also expected to act fairly and reasonably towards third parties involved in their project. Fairness and reasonableness includes paying market rates for all work performed by third parties on their project and respecting intellectual property rights of all relevant persons whether those rights be copyright, moral rights or Indigenous rights.

Confidentiality

The applicant and the ACT Government must not divulge any confidential information (other than as published by the ACT Government) relating to the application process to any third party (other than those of their respective employees or authorised agents) without prior written consent.

Contact

If you would like to discuss your project or the screen production fund program please contact:
The Fund Manager on (02) 6207 5843 or 13 22 81 or email Chimwemwe.mpaso@act.gov.au or screenfund@act.gov.au

and

The ScreenACT Director on (02) 6162 5172 or email monica.penders@screenact.com.au