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Southern stars set Sundance record

Arts

South Australia is further cementing its place as Australia’s film capital as four locally funded films head to the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.

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The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) funded four of the six Australian films selected for Sundance, the most Australian films ever to showcase at the prestigious festival.

The four films, Top End Wedding, I Am Mother, Animals and The Nightingale, will screen in Utah in late January.

South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) Chief Executive Courtney Gibson said the nominations are an outstanding achievement for Australian film.

“It’s thrilling that these four standout SAFC-funded films will be showcased at Sundance in 2019. Sundance is the first film festival out of the starting gate each year and the one that always breaks new ground and sets the pace in featuring visionary and radical screen storytelling,” said Gibson.

The nominations for the annual festival in Utah are the latest achievement for the growing South Australian Film Industry.

Global movie company Technicolor will soon move into its $26 million, 3000sqm visual effects studio in Adelaide – known as “Mill Film” – and has begun recruiting staff.

A $6 million grant from the Government was pivotal in securing the deal with Technicolor, who work in VFX, post-production and animation.

Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose said he believed the South Australian capital would “become a global VFX destination once the secret gets out”.

The South Australian film industry has grown significantly over the past few years, with films such as ‘Cargo’ and ‘Wolf Creek’ showcasing areas of the state including the regional town of Blanchetown and the Outback outpost of Beltana.

Gibson said the proximity of amazing natural landscapes to the capital of Adelaide were key drawcards for big overseas screen productions.

“The thing that makes South Australia such an attractive place to shoot are our quite spectacular locations and we know this is what the international TV networks want, great big sweeping shots that they can’t get anywhere else in the world,” Gibson said.

The Australian Federal Government announced the launch of a “Location Incentive Fund” earlier this year, providing a tax rebate on the expenses of production companies working in the state. It is expected to bring in more than $260 million in new foreign investment to the local economy, establishing South Australia as an economic location for global production companies.

Tony Clark, managing director of Adelaide visual effects studio Rising Sun Pictures said the rebate significantly shifts the landscape in favour of filming in Australia.

“It represents a powerful draw card to bring production and post production to the state, creating significant employment and growth opportunities for screen businesses. We’re already seeing the local incentive bringing new and expanded projects to South Australia and setting the stage for future growth,” he said.

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