In 2017, producer Sue Maslin asked if we have “turned into a vanity publishing industry with little connection between creative ideas and audiences”. If there is a future for Australian feature films, what would it look like? Producing features as a business has been under threat for some time with low box office returns for Australian films, falling ancillary revenues and the growing dominance of online subscription services. With a growing number of films delayed by COVID-19 or moving to streaming platforms, the role of cinemas, and the types of films required to draw audiences back, is under scrutiny.
Now, the Government has proposed regulatory changes including decreasing the Producer Offset by 10% for feature films but hopes that more audiences will find these productions via alternative platforms resulting in a better commercial return for producers. On overcrowded content platforms with opaque viewing figures, how will success be measured? With a preference for series over features and no backend for producers, how will an increased reliance on streamers benefit Aussie feature producers?
An exhibitor, distributor, and producers explore strategies that may assist in delivering a more consistent, sustainable and successful slate of Australian movies for tomorrow’s theatrical market.