Hollywood Down Under ‘could swallow Australian local film industry’

Australia has become Hollywood Down Under during the pandemic years, with blockbuster film productions generating billions of dollars for the local economy.

Big stars like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Zac Efron, Chris Hemsworth and Colin Farrell have all made movies in Australia since 2021.

And now there are fears that the new Albanian government is paving the way for Hollywood to completely gobble up the local industry, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

There are fears that the new Albanian government could pave the way for Hollywood to completely swallow up the local industry, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Pictured: An Elvis scene with Austin Butler and filmed in Queensland

What worries local filmmakers is the search for a new cultural policy.

In calling for submissions, the government no longer appears to be prioritizing Australian stories.

He asks filmmakers to consider “the centrality of the artist: supporting the artist as a worker and celebrating their role as creators of culture”.

Call for submissions to support the development of a new cultural policy, the government no longer appears to be prioritizing Australian stories Image: Chris Hemsworth in Spiderhead

Call for submissions to support the development of a new cultural policy, the government no longer appears to be prioritizing Australian stories Image: Chris Hemsworth in Spiderhead

In 2013, the National Cultural Policy set a goal to “support the excellence and special role of artists…as a source of original works and ideas, including telling Australian stories”.

A spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts said in the Sydney Morning Herald report that the call for applications was a means of creating a debate on cultural policy.

Local filmmaker Leonie Marsh told the publication that the government needed to clearly define ‘Australianess and Australian stories.’

Filmmaker George Miller: His Mad Max films are the only Hollywood-backed blockbusters made here with a strong cultural connection to Australia

Filmmaker George Miller: His Mad Max films are the only Hollywood-backed blockbusters made here with a strong cultural connection to Australia

“Otherwise, it will be others, like Hollywood, who will do it for us, with potentially vested interests that don’t represent our cultural values ​​as a nation,” she said.

Sydney producer Emile Sherman, who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech, is part of a 15-member panel that will advise the government on the new national cultural policy.

The news comes after a slew of Hollywood-backed projects – many of which were made possible through generous tax incentives – have been completed in Australia since 2020.

A scene from Thirteen Lives - Directed by acclaimed American filmmaker Ron Howard and filmed in Queensland, the AU$79 million deals with the dramatic 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue

A scene from Thirteen Lives – Directed by acclaimed American filmmaker Ron Howard and filmed in Queensland, the AU$79 million deals with the dramatic 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue

The productions provided thousands of jobs for local cast and crew.

These include the Amazon Prime Video drama Thirteen Lives starring Joel Edgerton and Viggo Mortensen.

Directed by acclaimed American filmmaker Ron Howard and filmed in Queensland, the AU$79 million deals with the dramatic 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue.

Superstar Chris Hemsworth has directed two blockbusters Down Under since 2021: Thor: Blood and Thunder, made in Sydney and the Netflix thriller, Spiderhead, shot in Queensland

Superstar Chris Hemsworth has directed two blockbusters Down Under since 2021: Thor: Blood and Thunder, made in Sydney and the Netflix thriller, Spiderhead, shot in Queensland

Superstar Chris Hemsworth has directed two blockbusters Down Under since 2021: Thor: Blood and Thunder, made in Sydney and the Netflix thriller, Spiderhead, shot in Queensland.

In 2021 George Clooney and Julia Roberts filmed Ticket to Paradise with $6.4 million from the Australian government as part of a localization incentive scheme.

Meanwhile, Baz Luhrmann has proudly recreated American locations in Queensland over the past two years, including Memphis and Las Vegas, for his Hollywood-produced Elvis photo bio.

The only Hollywood-backed blockbusters in recent years with Australian content are George Miller’s Mad Max films: Fury Road (2015), which was made in Africa and Sydney; and its prequel Furiosa, currently filming in Broken Hill, NSW. Both take place in a post-apocalyptic Australia.

In 2020, the Federal Government injected $400 million into the Location Incentive Grant to attract filmmakers to Australia at the height of the pandemic.

In 2020, the Federal Government injected $400 million into the Location Incentive Grant to attract filmmakers to Australia at the height of the pandemic.  Pictured: An Elvis scene with Austin Butler and filmed in Queensland

In 2020, the Federal Government injected $400 million into the Location Incentive Grant to attract filmmakers to Australia at the height of the pandemic. Pictured: An Elvis scene with Austin Butler and filmed in Queensland

Gladys T. Hensley