Screen Australia, willing to support Cannes expat project

Australia's Michael Rowe directed Año Bisiesto in MexicoScreen Australia’s head of production investment Ross Matthews says the agency would like to support Camera d’Or-winning expat Michael Rowe with his second film.

“It was great to meet Michael in Cannes and Screen Australia would be very happy to help Michael in any way that we can towards furthering his next project,” Matthews told Encore.

“If Rowe wants to explore ways to make his next project with Australian support, we would encourage him to work with an Australian resident producer to carefully consider the Significant Australian Content test, which is vital if a production wants to access Screen Australia funds,” he added.

Rowe has developed his career in Mexico, and his first feature Año Bisiesto (Leap Year) won the Camera d’Or at Cannes last Sunday. He told Encore that he would like his next project, about an Australian expat living in Mexico City, to be a co-production with Australia. However, there is currently no official treaty or MoU between the two countries.

“Setting up any new co-production treaty or MoU takes time and presents many challenges. The Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts negotiates agreements with new partner countries; producers who are interested in to exploring co-productions with countries for which no agreement exists should contact DEWHA directly to discuss new countries,” explained Matthews.

“Screen Australia is interested in a diverse range of stories including Australian stories set in foreign lands. [Claire McCarthy’s Indian-shot film] The Waiting City is a great example. We are not currently noticing any significant trends towards these types of project, but we are always on the lookout,” he said.


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