The Government has announced that the Producer Offset for feature films that receive a theatrical release will stay at 40 per cent, and not drop to 30 per cent from July as announced last year. However, the threshold level of expenditure will still increase from $500,000 to $1,000,000 as previously flagged, and the so-called Gallipoli clause will be removed which will disallow certain expenditure overseas (as we discussed here). The proposed increase in the level of the Producer Offset for television, from 20 per cent to 30 per cent, will also still proceed.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, The Hon Paul Fletcher, also announced that the Temporary Interruption Fund, which assists producers in meeting the requirement to insure against interruptions to production caused by COVID-19, will be extended through to the end of 2021. The program, administered by Screen Australia, has provided access to a revolving fund which has enabled producers to finalise their finance plans despite not being able to insure against disruptions to shoots caused by the pandemic.
The remaining unknown is where the proposed expenditure requirement for large streaming services will land. In recent communications from the Department, a rate of 5 per cent has been mentioned, and since then there has been a concerted push from the screen production industry to increase that to 20 per cent. The Government's current minimum requirement is for the affected SVODs (Subscription Video on Demand) to report on their expenditure on Australian content, but the Green Paper from late November 2020 is open for submissions until May, so there may yet be some twists in this story before the end of the financial year.
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