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How a producer offset loan helped bridge the funding gap for Satellite Boy

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EFIC takes us through how a producer offset loan helped bridge the funding gap for the Australian film Satellite Boy As even the most seasoned producers in the Australian film industry can attest, one of the toughest challenges in movie making comes right at the start - securing funding for the feature. Even if the production has great potential to be a blockbuster or simply has a winning script, a known cast and well-known director behind it, finding finance to cover all aspects of the film’s expenses from day one on set until premiere night can be a real issue. The Federal Government is supportive of Australian films and provides incentives to producers and directors to film in Australia, including providing funding to a certain limit. There are also favourable refundable tax rebates called Producer Offsets, particularly for large productions which spend more than $15 million in the country. However, you can only apply for the Producer Offset after the film’s completion, which often leaves producers with a funding shortage, unable to cover post-production expenses. This was the situation faced by David Jowsey, producer of Satellite Boy and principal partner of boutique feature film production company BUNYA Productions. Even after securing commercial backing for the project, BUNYA still needed to cover costs for editing the film and soundtrack, legal, business and marketing expenses. "We ticked all the boxes with a great story, a talented cast and crew, and commercial backing for the project, but we still faced a funding gap between the time we incurred the costs and when we receive the Producer Offset through the tax system," Mr Jowsey said. This is where the Australian Government’s export credit agency, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), was able to help. EFIC provided BUNYA Productions with a Producer Offset loan of $850,550 to support the final stage of Satellite Boy’s production. EFIC’s Producer Offset loans help finance Australian film, documentary and television productions with international distribution agreements. The loan provides upfront access to funds for production and the Australian Government’s Producer Offset rebate, along with the production’s other credentials gives EFIC a guarantee of repayment for the loan. To qualify for an EFIC Producer Offset loan, productions must have an international distribution agreement, a provisional certificate and a successful production track record. BUNYA finished post production on Satellite Boy in May 2012, one of eleven productions to be completed with EFIC’s support. Filmmakers wanting to bridge the funding gap can visit the EFIC site www.efic.gov.au

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