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Let’s get back to work – how can Australian producers access the Temporary Interruption Fund?

19 August 2020

#Technology, Media & Telecommunications, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #COVID-19

Published by:

Madison Tonkes

Let’s get back to work – how can Australian producers access the Temporary Interruption Fund?

The guidelines for the Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) have been released to provide further information about how Australian producers will be able to access the fund.

What is TIF?

The TIF is a $50 million fund designed to assist new local productions that have not been able to start production due to production insurance exclusions relating to COVID-19.

Screen Australia will administer the fund and will provide up to 60 per cent of a production’s total budget or $4 million – whichever is less. The applicant may also agree to a lesser amount than this capped amount.

The TIF is designed for productions that have a live action principal photography component and only applies to productions that have Film Producers Indemnity (FPI) Insurance that excludes coverage for COVID-19 events.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must apply to Screen Australia to access the TIF and applications must be in respect of Australian productions that are made in Australia. Foreign productions that are shooting in Australia are ineligible.

To be eligible: 

  • feature films, drama series, documentary series or single episode programs must have met the Significant Australian Content test or be an official co-production at the time of application, either by way of a provisional certificate for the Producer Offset or by having provisional co-production approval
  • entertainment or reality series must be capable of meeting the Significant Australian Content test based on the information in the application
  • production must not have commenced at the time of application and production must commence on or before 30 June 2021
  • the applicant must have FPI Insurance covering named individuals from an approved insurer (currently the only approved insurers are SURA Film and Entertainment Pty Ltd and Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. Screen Australia has noted that more insurers may be approved during the period that TIF operates).

Applicants are also required to meet the following requirements of Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade:

  • the applicant must be a company incorporated and carrying on a business in Australia and have its central management and control in Australia
  • the applicant must control the rights necessary to carry out the production
  • the applicant company (and any of its related companies) must not be in breach of any agreement with Screen Australia.

Applicants may also be previous recipients of Screen Australia production funding or investment.

Animation programs are ineligible unless it is hybrid live-action animation and is predominantly live action.

How will applications be assessed?

Screen Australia will prioritise access to TIF based on the following factors:

  • the project’s proximity to the commencement of principal photography
  • readiness to enter production
  • the need to acquire TIF in order to commence production
  • the impact on the length of principal photography and the ability of TIF to support other productions
  • the total contingent TIF exposure.

Is there a fee?

Production companies must pay a fee for TIF coverage. The fee will be 1 per cent of the total TIF coverage for the production. For example, if the TIF coverage is $1 million, the fee will be $10,000.

Applications for the TIF will be open until 28 May 2021 and it is hoped this fund will see the commencement of many Australian productions and will revive a film industry that has been dealt a particularly hard blow by COVID-19.

Authors: Madison Tonkes & Dan Pearce

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

Published by:

Madison Tonkes

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