By Jen Brewster.
Prior to a new budget announcement in May 2018, major Hollywood stars such as Cate Blanchett, Chris Hemsworth, and Rose Byrne have joined over 200 Australians working in film and television to sign an open letter calling on the government to protect the country’s screen industry.
In the face of “a deluge of overseas content” the movement calls on federal parliamentarians to protect the local industry by committing to a diversity of quality Australian content for Australian and international audiences.
The letter requests the government to maintain Australian content rules for free-to-air TV and extend them to new media including Netflix, Amazon, and Stan, that have seen an exponential rise in viewers in recent years.
It also rallies to increase tax incentives that could lure more international productions to Australia and create more jobs, and to put a hold on funding cuts to Screen Australia, the ABC and SBS.
Australia is a land that is built on a strong story telling tradition. From the vibrant tales of indigenous Australians that entertained and educated for millennia, to the prize-winning novels from our beloved heads of modern literature, Australia has always been a rich breeding ground for some of the best stories to be found anywhere in the world.
Continuing to tell these stories – via modern mediums such as television and the Internet – is a continuation of the campfire tales of yore.
We must continue to inspire our future generations, keep providing opportunities for future storytellers to thrive, and keep providing opportunities to bring Australian stories to screen.
You can help! Please take a moment to email sign the petition and help support your Australian screen industry. Click HERE.
The letter in full:
WE are storytellers – writers, producers, directors, casts and crews who make screen stories that honour past Australians and connect present and future generations to our history and to our values.
YOU are elected representatives – the custodians of Australia’s stories, our unique culture. You create the environment within which our nation’s stories thrive or die.
Ours is a partnership. And we need your help.
Our ability to keep telling Australian stories on screen is at risk, our voices in danger of being drowned out by a deluge of overseas content.
And if our nation’s stories aren’t told, they die. And when they die, future generations won’t know who we are and what makes us us.
That’s why we need to ‘Make it Australian’.
- Australian content rules to evolve, to cover new media like Netflix, Amazon, Telstra TV, telcos and ISPs;
- Competitive tax incentives; and
- Well-funded public broadcasters and screen agencies.
Then we can compete. Australians telling the diverse stories of our people, our country.
We call on parliamentarians, the custodians of our uniquely Australian stories, to commit to growing our screen industry so that our Australian stories will be told to our children, grandchildren and the generations of Australians that follow.