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Film fund seeks to establish scholarships


ASPIRING film producers from South East Asia and Australia have a chance to win one of five production scholarships to work on an international export film for commercial release.

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South Australian film producer Julian York is creating an investment opportunity in South East Asia, opening the way for emerging film producers to kickstart their careers and help boost regional cooperation.

York, the executive producer at Three Kings Pictures, is touring Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand this week to look for investors to help finance his South Australia South East Asia Film Fund.

York said the fund would help support the production of 21 short form projects and provide five scholarships for filmmakers studying at university to share ideas and stories about their respective homes.

“It’s about telling stories about the region – about South East Asian stories in South Australia and South Australian stories in Asia,” York said.

“The mentorships are there to fund five true emerging producers from the region to work with industry professionals and to see how it gets done.”

“The scholarships will include the first 12 months of these aspiring producer’s salaries to help them develop their own projects to get them to a point of commercialization.”

York’s vision isn’t to emulate a Hollywood equivalent in Australia but to create something entirely different and unique.

He said that although Australia has created some critically acclaimed films, they don’t necessarily do very well at the international level.

“We do well locally but not that well overseas. The intent is to really build the commercial element and to showcase that South Australian films can travel well overseas,” York said.

“I’m not trying to recreate Hollywood or Bollywood, I’m trying to put our own stamp on the film industry this side of the world.”

The film fund will not only open opportunities for aspiring film producers but will also increase trade and tourism between Australia and South East Asia.

“We want to make everyone aware of shooting locations and it will help facilitate tourism. The link between film production and tourism is very strong,” York said.

York has been invited by South Australian trade minister Martin Hamilton-Smith to join a trade delegation on their tour of South East Asia.

He will be joined by other entrepreneurs as they look to help build a stronger relationship in the region.

Adelaide fashion designer Cristina Tridente, who is also on the delegation, reiterated the notion of showcasing South Australia to South East Asia.

“We’re going to showcase South Australia, to strengthen our relationships and build collaborations and partnerships,” Tridente said.

“They have big federations and schools. We want to know where the industries fit in at the moment and to show them the talent we have in South Australia.”

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