WIDE ANGLE TASMANIA DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY SCREEN AUSTRALIA FUNDING CUTS

Wide Angle Tasmania General Manager Abi Binning is “dismayed and deeply disappointed” by last week’s Screen Australia decision to cease direct funding for the organisation from the end of 2015.

Wide Angle Tasmania provides training, advice, equipment and support to Tasmanians who aim to work in production of content for cinema, television and on line audiences. 

It is perhaps best known for working with first time filmmakers on the Raw Nerve initiative that is funded by Screen Australia.  New directors work with the organisation to make short films that are screened by the ABC.  Wide Angle Tasmania also trains around 600 Tasmanians each year – developing skills in areas from make up for horror films to television production.   The organization is an important hub for screen creatives in the state.

Established in 2005, it receives funding from Screen Tasmania as well as Australian Government screen investment agency, Screen Australia. Screen Australia’s contribution makes up one third of Wide Angle Tasmania’s annual budget.  Ms. Binning says the funding cut will “seriously threaten the ongoing viability of Wide Angle Tasmania.” 

“In a state without university production training, and only a handful of screen production companies, Wide Angle Tasmania is essential to the development of local talent and production capacity.  Our work over the past ten years has prepared Tasmanian crew to be employed on inbound productions such as The Kettering Incident and produce independent films that have gained national and international recognition”, she said.

Local filmmaker Rebecca Thomson, recently returned from Hollywood where she screened her short film The Jelly Wrestler, said, “I have used just about every aspect of Wide Angle’s services over the years and it has been an absolutely invaluable resource in helping me learn some craft skills and will hopefully allow me to actually work professionally in the industry.”

Ms. Binning said that in the coming weeks she will be talking to a wide variety of Tasmanian stakeholders to discuss ways to ensure Wide Angle continues to provide Tasmanians with access to the skills and equipment they need to participate in production.  

FURTHER INQUIRIES: ABI BINNING, GENERAL MANAGER,  WIDE ANGLE TASMANIA ON 6223 8344, abi@wideangle.org.au