Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 19, 2022



South Australian Film Corporation

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (16:02): I move:

That this council—

1. Acknowledges that 2022 marks the 50th year of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC);

2. Recognises the significant social, cultural and economic contributions the SAFC has made to the state of South Australia; and

3. Congratulates all those who have contributed to the fantastic array of films, television series and games that have been produced by the SAFC since 1972.

It is a great pleasure for me to move this motion to congratulate the South Australian Film Corporation on its 50th anniversary. Founded as a production company in 1972, the South Australian Film Corporation was established under the South Australian Film Corporation Act by the Dunstan government. Don Dunstan was instrumental in the establishment of the SAFC and in supporting its early film production activities. Labor has continued his legacy, with ongoing support for the South Australian Film Corporation and for our creative businesses across the screen sector.

In particular, Premier Mike Rann supported the relocation of the SAFC to its current home, Adelaide Studios, with funding of $43 million from the state government for this project. I was delighted to tour these remarkable world-class facilities in August and to experience being on the set of a production, accompanied by the Hon. Tung Ngo. To see how many jobs are created in this industry has been eye-opening, with over 2,000 jobs created and supported by the industry in South Australia.

Importantly, there is room for further expansion at the Adelaide Studios site, which can support the South Australian Film Corporation and our screen industry as it continues to grow and generate further jobs for South Australians. From its very beginning, the South Australian Film Corporation did tremendous justice to Dunstan's ambitions for our screen industry, achieving remarkable successes in their earliest years of operation.

In fact, only their second feature film has become an undisputed icon of Australian cinema, Picnic at Hanging Rock, which enjoyed national and international acclaim on its 1975 release. It was shortly followed by further great successes: Storm Boy in 1976, Breaker Morant in 1980 and many more iconic films that have been woven into the fabric of Australian and South Australian culture.

The SAFC has played a significant role in the revival of Australian filmmaking, which was stagnant at the time of its foundation. The screen industry across the nation became the beneficiary of the Film Corp's momentum and growth, and that is still true today. For 50 years, the South Australian Film Corporation has been the key reason that South Australia has punched well above our weight in the prominence, the quality and the achievements of our screen industry.

Their success in building upon South Australia's attractiveness as a production location for international projects has continued in recent months and years. What I find particularly impressive is that when interstate or international productions come to South Australia they invariably come back again, so impressed are they with the quality of our people and our capabilities.

I have no doubt that the momentum for television production in particular will grow, with the success of Windmill Pictures' new series in collaboration with ABC Kids, Beep and Mort. Developed and funded with assistance from the South Australian government, Beep and Mort was created, produced and post-produced entirely in South Australia, with a majority South Australian cast and crew.

Some South Australians may not realise that the SAFC is much more than a film and television production outfit. They support a large and diverse ecosystem of creative businesses and enterprises, sustain an impressive number of local jobs and help to generate a wideranging variety of creative output.

Our local video game industry is also a growing part of that ecosystem. As a devoted supporter of the South Australian industry broadly and also as a long-term gaming industry enthusiast, I am proud that the capability and reputation of our local gaming industry is on the rise. Just this month, South Australian made video games created with the support of the South Australian Film Corporation have been named among the best in Australia at the nation's largest gaming expo event, PAX Aus.

The SAFC is also doing passionate work in driving diversity and inclusiveness across our screen industry. Their programs elevating and supporting First Nations screen industry creatives, as well as their efforts in amplifying and developing South Australian screen content makers with disability, are important to both fairness and justice in our community and to the integrity of our screen sector. I want to pay particular tribute to the fantastic leadership of Kate Croser, whose experience as a producer, as well as the strength of her ambition for the future of the South Australian screen industry, is of huge benefit to the Film Corp and to businesses across the sector.

There are so many ways in which South Australia excels across the arts, but the success of our screen industry, so capably supported and driven by the South Australian Film Corporation, is something of which we can all feel particularly proud. I congratulate the South Australian Film Corporation again on 50 years of making great art, supporting and creating South Australian jobs, bringing growth to our economy and developing South Australia's global reputation as an outstanding destination for filmmaking.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. N.J. Centofanti.