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21 June 2010

Australian High Commission: Australia and South Africa to sign film co-production treaty on 18 June

(Click here to see file: Media release - Australia and South Africa sign film co-production agreement.pdf)

AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION, PRETORIA

MEDIA RELEASE, 17 June 2010

Australia and South Africa to sign film co-production agreement

Australian and South African film-makers will have more opportunities to work together following the finalisation of a bilateral film co-production agreement between the two countries.

The treaty-level agreement will be signed at 11am on Friday 18 June 2010 by the Australian Minister for Sport, Youth, Early Childhood Education and Childcare, the Hon Kate Ellis MP, and the South African Minister for Arts and Culture, the Hon Lulama Xingwana.

The treaty aims to encourage film co-productions between Australian and South African film-makers by streamlining some of the administrative and funding issues around cooperation in film-making.

Practical benefits for film-makers are that projects approved as official co-productions under the treaty will be granted ‘national treatment’ by both countries meaning co-producers can access a range of funding and tax benefits; simplified immigration requirements for the entry of skilled personnel; and duty free importation of equipment for use in co-productions. Official co-productions will also be treated as ‘local content’ under domestic television broadcast quotas.

The agreement, once approved through each country’s respective parliamentary processes, will provide opportunities for Australian and South African film-makers to pool their creative and financial resources, facilitate cultural and creative exchange between the countries and increase the output of high-quality productions.

Minister Kate Ellis said “This film co-production agreement is a further example of the growing bilateral relationship between Australia and South Africa. Our two countries have long competed and cooperated in the sporting arena and I am delighted to see our connections are expanding in the cultural sphere as well.”

Australian and South African film-makers already are working together to great effect. An example of this is the Australian – South African joint production, The Team that Never Played – a film about apartheid era football players that never participated in the FIFA World Cup owing to sporting sanctions.

The Team that Never Played will premiere in South Africa at the official opening of the Africa on Screen and Soccer Film festivals on Thursday 24 June.

# Signing of Film Co-Production Treaty

Venue: Office of the Minister of Arts and Culture, Level 10, Kingsley Centre Corner Church and Beatrix Streets, Pretoria
Time: 11am on Friday 18 June

Please RSVP to Tsakani Sithole on 012 441 3606 or tsakani.sithole@dac.gov.za

# Premiere of The Team that Never Played

Venue: Sci Bono Discovery Centre Newtown, Johannesburg
Time: 6.30pm on Thursday 24 June

Please RSVP to Lara Preston on lara@redflag.co.za

For more information about the potential of the agreement for film-makers, please see the Screen Australia website – www.screenaustralia.gov.au/coproductions.

For further information, please contact Public Affairs Officer, Mr William Blomfield on +27 83 409 3619 or william.blomfield@dfat.gov.au.

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