May 8, 2018

Why 2018 is a make or break year for the Australian film industry

As tensions rise around cuts to local funding, questions remain unanswered on murky deals for Hollywood blockbusters. It's time to reckon with what we want on our screens.

Ella Donald

Freelance writer

The Australian film industry is going through an identity crisis. Are we a Hollywood backlot, providing studios for some of the most anticipated movies in the world? Are we able to sustain ourselves by telling our own stories? Is there a balance between the two?

In the past few years, Australia has regained its reputation as a hotspot for filming Hollywood blockbusters (which took a knock in the late 2000s, when the financial crisis saw companies like Disney, Universal, and Paramount seek other locales). However, in 2015 to 2017, we have played host to a number of high-budget productions including Pacific Rim Uprising, the latest Alien installment, Kong: Skull Island, Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “Why 2018 is a make or break year for the Australian film industry

  1. peter

    What a load of cobblers! Time to draw a line under these never-ending subsidies for the so-called Australia’s film industry. Super sexy; all the state governments on board but sfa outcomes. This has been going on for decades. And the industry still not competitive. Will never be. Arts funding, for real, Australian arts continues to sharing while we’re supposed to subsidise another US pirate movie!
    The union is doing what a union must but many of the individual signatories are doing very well indeed -if they’re so passionate about the Australian industry perhaps they should invest their own cash!
    This “industry” will never be self-supporting. If Australia had invested a fraction of the support lavished on the film industry on the computer games sector a decade and a half ago we’d have a significant industry. Instead we keep subsidising international block-busters, to keep them from going to other subsidised locations, and profits stay with the studios in the US. Ridiculous!

    1. bref

      Peter you need a reality check. All countries subsidise all manner of industries, not just the arts. France subsidises its film industry to an enormous degree, not just for jobs, but for fear of losing its voice among the dross coming out of LA, most other western countries do likewise to some degree. Under the LNP we’ve already lost enormous capacity in manufacturing and heavy industry leading to terrible under-employment and loss of expertise, and now we’re in danger of losing the film industry as well.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details