Screen Australia invests in screen content primarily to achieve cultural and industry development outcomes. In 2018/19, the majority of funding across the agency was given as grants of $500,000 or less, which are non-recoupable investments. For the remainder of funding, the agency receives financial returns on its investments that are an important source of income to the agency’s yearly budget. The Marketplace team’s experience in assessing the complex deals that underpin screen content financing, and tracking deals and sales throughout a project’s life cycle, also make it a source of market intelligence for both the agency and the industry.
TV drama provided the majority of returns across the board for Screen Australia in 2018/19, with a total share of 55% across children’s and adult content. This was a 6% increase on the previous financial year. However, while the international market provided the highest returns for adult TV drama in previous years, in 2018/19 there was an 11% increase in returns from the domestic market, which made up 53% of the total.
Australian programs still continue to find an audience overseas with international sales responsible for 83% of the total recouped by children’s titles and 47% for adult TV drama. In 2018/19, there were 97 television sales across 88 territories with an approximate value of $25.7 million. Safe Harbour, Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries, Mystery Road and Doctor Doctor dominated sales for the financial year with the top adult TV earners being Picnic at Hanging Rock, Wentworth, season 1 of Top of the Lake and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series 2. The top children’s TV earners were Mako: Island of Secrets series 1 & 2 and Nowhere Boys.
- In 2018/19, Screen Australia’s net recoupment was $4.92 million.
- Marketplace falls under the Strategic Policy and Industry Insights Unit at Screen Australia.
Feature film sales saw a 4% increase on last year’s financial return, providing 42% of the total returns for Screen Australia in 2018/19. Over the financial year, there were 128 sales across 158 territories for an approximate value of $23.7 million. The titles that dominated sales in 2018/19 included Little Monsters, Hotel Mumbai, True History of the Kelly Gang, Ride Like a Girl and I Am Mother, while top earners were Cargo, December Boys, Berlin Syndrome and Predestination. Internationally, Australian films and stories continue to perform well and in 2018/19 international sales grew 38% to a revenue return of 83%. However, there was a 38% decline from domestic sales, which recorded a revenue return of 17%.
Documentary sales continue to be consistent with the majority of returns from projects contracted between 2012 and 2015. In 2018/19, the majority (67%) of sales came from the domestic market and 33% from international.