Coast’s screen industry shines bright, takes centre stage

Plans to propel the region as a centre of artistic excellence and complement the thriving Queensland screen industry have been unveiled in a landmark report at the recent Sunshine Coast Screen Summit.

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Rosanna Natoli

L to R: Dr Phoebe Macrossan - UniSC, Time McGee - Sunshine Coast Council, Jacqui Feeney - CEO Screen Queensland, Prof. Mark Ryan - QUT, David Edgar - President Sunshine Coast Screen Collective.

Plans to propel the region as a centre of artistic excellence and complement the thriving Queensland screen industry have been unveiled in a landmark report at the recent Sunshine Coast Screen Summit.

The highly anticipated Screen Production on the Sunshine Coast Report has been a year in the making, and outlines the strategic direction required for the region to foster growth in the screen industry.

Sunshine Coast Council launched the report this month (November 13) in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and local screen advocacy body, the Sunshine Coast Screen Collective.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the report provided goalposts to help shape the region as a creative screen hub.

“This landmark report highlights our region’s diverse film locations, the wealth of talent available, and underscores the undeniable potential of the Sunshine Coast as an ideal location for screen productions which further enhances Queensland’s offering to the industry,” Mayor Jamieson said.

 “Beyond the economic benefits, Council recognises the profound cultural advantages a thriving screen industry can bring through cross-collaboration and innovation.”

UniSC Lecturer in Screen Media Dr Phoebe Macrossan co-authored the report and said the Sunshine Coast had a strong screen community.

“Some of the key recommendations of the report are about supporting and growing this community through professional development, and investing in a local production support scheme that develops local screen projects for emerging practitioners making content,” Dr Macrossan said.

“Exciting opportunities lie on the horizon, including attracting increased Federal and State government funding and support and the ever-expanding landscape of emerging technologies such as streaming content, digital games, plus virtual and extended reality.”

QUT Professor of Film and Screen and report lead author Dr Mark Ryan said a growing number of independent feature films and short-form grassroots production occurred in the region.

“The study found there is strong workforce of 270 specialist and support workers employed in the film and television industry on the Sunshine Coast,” Dr Ryan said.

“There is also group of screen workers who are very experienced, and in some cases quite senior practitioners including Daley Pearson from Ludo studios behind Bluey.”

President of the Sunshine Coast Screen Collective David Edgar said the screen production numbers were at record levels.

“In FY23 screen production totalled $2.439 billion in revenue for Australia and $615 million for Queensland which is growing at rate of 25 per cent year on year,” Mr Edgar said.

“While these numbers are impressive, there is still plenty of opportunity to grow the revenue by making more studios available, and the Sunshine Coast is ideally suited as a location.”

Sunshine Coast Screen Locations Gallery

To help increase visibility of the Sunshine Coast's film locations, a dynamic new online gallery was launched which feeds into Screen Queensland's film locations gallery and the global locations hub database.

The Sunshine Coast Screen Locations Gallery will become the region’s ‘shop front’ for filming locations and provide a searchable database of locations to help recruit and attract screen productions to the state.

Sunny Coast Showdown 2023

Sunny Coast Showdown winners 2023

Sunny Coast Showdown 2024

The Sunny Coast Showdown Screen Incubator and Showcase will return in 2024 with entries opening from January for local screenwriters, filmmakers and crew to produce and deliver projects and then showcase them at a community festival event in June.  

See the 2024 Sunny Coast Showdown event details here.

The Screen Production on the Sunshine Coast Report Key Findings

  • At the time of the 2021 ABS Census, 270 people were working in the Sunshine Coast film and television industry.
  • Of these, 81 were film and television specialists (e.g. producers, directors, editors), 105 were other creative specialists (e.g. musicians, make-up artists) employed in the film and television industry, and 54 were support workers (e.g. accountants, carpenters).
  • ABS data states between 2016 and 2021, the Sunshine Coast film and television workforce’s compound annual growth rate was 3.2 per cent.
  • Environmental scans of Sunshine Coast businesses found there were approximately 115 corporate production companies based on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Since 2000, 22 feature films have been made on the Sunshine Coast or made by Sunshine Coast based producers including 13 Summers, The Gorge, The Edge and Perfect Messy Love.
 
 

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Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share. We wish to pay respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the important role First Nations people continue to play within the Sunshine Coast community.

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