Netflix Uses Queensland’s Third Feature Film to Make the Most of its Incentives

Netflix, the streaming giant, is taking advantage of government incentives and preparing for another Queensland production to film on the Gold Coast. This will be its third production in the last year.

Hoodlum Entertainment in Brisbane will produce the feature film. It stars Victoria Justice, an American singer/actor, and Adam Demos, from Australia.

This announcement follows recent Netflix Original productions Escape from Spiderhead starring Chris Hemsworth and True Spirit, a Jessica Watson biopic being shot on the Gold Coast.

Screen Queensland’s production incentive will allow for $8 million in local economic development and 120 jobs to be created.

The film is yet to be titled and centres on Justice as an American wine importer who travels to Australia to find the Australian charms of Demos. Demos has starred in Sex/Life, Falling In Love, and other Netflix originals.

Justice made his first appearance on Nickelodeon 15 years ago as Lola Martinez, a comedy-drama show. Since 2009, Demos has been a regular guest on Australian screens. He was most recently seen in Janet King or Unreal.

Kylie Munnich, CEO Screen Queensland, says that Netflix’s repeat business reflects Queensland’s’strength, competitiveness’ and its incentives, locations, skilled crew, and post-production facilities.

“We are thrilled to see Hoodlum produce this global feature film and proud to support all three seasons Hoodlum’s ABC crime series Harrow and their celebrated 2018 Netflix Original series Tidelands. We also supported their comedic First Nations coproduction All My Friends Are Racist.

“Screen Queensland is succeeding with our mission to promote Queensland’s status as a global production center that can provide local productions and international productions exactly what they need in order to produce high-quality content for global audiences.”

Other Queensland Government-funded productions are currently being shot at Screen Queensland Studios, Brisbane. They also film the new ABC crime series Troppo.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier, said that the new Netflix movie is just one of a number of international and domestic productions continuing to fuel Queensland’s screen boom.

“This project is an excellent example of how Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy benefits Queensland’s local screen sector through exciting co-production agreements for local businesses, like Hoodlum Entertainment, one the state’s most successful producers.”

The Queensland Government announced in June a $71million boost to the local film industry. This includes $53 million for production attraction strategies.

New figures today reveal that the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) sector is a major source of investment in Australian content.

The first SVOD Australian content investment report, published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, (ACMA), shows that Amazon Prime and Disney, Netflix, Stan and Stan spent over $150 million on Australian programs between 2019-20.

Even more is the cost of productions shot in Australia, but not here. This adds up to $115million over the same period. Clickbait, a $50 million production was filmed in Melbourne.

This brings the total investment in Australian-related content and Australian-related content via SVODs up to $268 million.

The report shows the increasing demand for local content both domestically and internationally. There are over 3,000 hours worth of Australian content available from more than 600 programs on the four services.

Paul Fletcher (Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure and Cities), says that “What we know is that we have an adequate starting point in terms content, a good footprint abroad, and that more that 80% of the $153m expenditure was on co-commissioning or commissioning new Australian programs.”

Federal incentives include an increase in Producer Offset rates for television content, from 20% to 30% to encourage SVOD productions.

In 2021-22, Screen Australia and Australia’s Children’s Television Foundation will receive $110 million to help develop and produce Australian drama, documentary, and children’s content on film and television.