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Boom and bust in Australian screen policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation, and Hollywood's 'race to the bottom'.

Burns, Alex and Eltham, Ben 2010, Boom and bust in Australian screen policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation, and Hollywood's 'race to the bottom'., Media international Australia, incorporating culture & policy, no. 136, pp. 103-118.

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Title Boom and bust in Australian screen policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation, and Hollywood's 'race to the bottom'.
Author(s) Burns, Alex
Eltham, BenORCID iD for Eltham, Ben
Journal name Media international Australia, incorporating culture & policy
Issue number 136
Start page 103
End page 118
Total pages 16
Publisher University of Queensland
Place of publication Nathan, Qld
Publication date 2010-08
ISSN 1329-878X
Keyword(s) Motion picture industry
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Mass media and culture
Motion picture industry--finance
Motion picture industry--government policy
Summary In recent years, a narrative has emerged in the Australian popular media about the box office 'unpopularity' of Australian feature films and the 'failure' of the domestic screen industry. This article explores the recent history of Australian screen policy with particular reference to the '10BA' tax incentive of the 1980s; the Film Finance Corporation of Australia (FFC), a government screen agency established in 1988 to bring investment bank-style portfolio management to Australia's screen industry; and local production incentive policies pursed by Australian state governments in a chase for Hollywood's runaway production.

We argue the 10BA incentive catalysed an unsustainable bubble in Australian production, while its policy successor, the FFC, fundamentally failed in its stated mission of 'commercial' screen financing (over its 20-year lifespan, the FFC invested 1.345 billion Australian dollars for 274.2 million Australian dollars recouped - a cumulative return of negative 80 percent). For their part, private investors in Australian films discovered that the screen production process involved high levels of risk.

Foreign-financed production also proved highly volatile, due to the vagaries of trade exposure, currency fluctuations and tax arbitrage. The result of these macro and micro-economic factors often structural and cross-border in nature was that Australia's screen industry failed to develop the local investment infrastructure required to finance a sustainable, non-subsidised local sector.
Language eng
Field of Research 160502 Arts and Cultural Policy
200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio Economic Objective 910205 Industry Policy
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention
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Created: Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 16:09:33 EST by Ben Eltham

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