Aussies producing flicks 'no-one wants'


AUSTRALIAN filmmakers don't deserve government funding while they continue to churn out movies no-one wants to see, an industry leader says.

The new president of the Screen Producers' Association of Australia says audiences are being served up dark and depressing offerings.

It's no wonder box office returns for home-grown films are so appallingly low, Antony I Ginnane told the association's annual conference on the Gold Coast.

"As producers we have to present a regular and consistent diet of entertaining and provocative material to cinema-goers," Ginnane told delegates Wednesday.

"We've been making, in the main, dark, depressing pic pieces. Nobody goes to see them."

Ginnane who has worked in the TV and film industry for over 30 years and was a pioneer of Ozploitation flicks such as Patrick, Thirst, Fantasm and The Survivor said filmmakers should not expect government funding if they produced movies that Australians did not want to see.

"We have to recognise that the feature film side of our industry has for some years now completely failed to connect with and find an audience, and this must change," he said.

"We cannot simply expect $100 million worth of support a year to be handed over by government if our share of the theatrical box office remains at an appallingly low two to three per cent."

But while the film industry was flailing, Ginnane said Australian television production was thriving.

"Right now it's punching well above its weight in both the free and pay TV well done to Underbelly, Australian Idol, Packed to the Rafters and The Circuit on free TV, and Satisfaction and Chandon Pictures on pay."

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