THE Australia Council has developed a new online resource giving up-to-date information about arts and culture engagement, employment and business activity across Australia.

The Australia Council’s interactive resource provides region-specific data broken down into Australia’s 150 federal electorates. It reveals how the majority of Australians engage with arts and sport, and demonstrates how people living in regional Australia are prepared to travel for cultural and sporting events.

The interactive page allows users to choose an electorate from a drop-down menu or map which then displays statistics on arts and culture engagement.

Some of the other valuable insights include ticketing trends and participation rates. The tool helps people working in the arts and culture sector gain a better understanding of audience habits and preferences. 

www.australiacouncil.gov.au/research/electorate-profiles

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Australia Council electorate profiles

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FLYING Bark Productions animated feature 100% Wolf has won production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Create NSW.

The feature-length 100% Wolf is based on the book of the same name by Western Australian author Jayne Lyons. The film will be directed by Alexs Stadermann and has been adapted for the big screen by long-time collaborator Fin Edquist, with Barbara Stephen and Alexia Gates-Foale producing. 

The movie tells the story of Freddy Lupin, heir to the leadership of a proud family line of werewolves.  Positive he will become the most fearsome werewolf ever, Freddy is in for a shock when on his 14th birthday his first ‘warfing’ goes awry, turning him into a ferocious… poodle.

The pack elders give Freddy until the next moonrise to prove he has the heart of a wolf, or risk being cast out forever. With the help of an unlikely ally in a streetwise stray named Batty, Freddy must prove he is 100% Wolf.

“The experienced team at Flying Bark Productions have a successful track record in delivering animated features with global appeal, including Maya the Bee and Blinky Bill: The Movie, which combined have released theatrically in over 80 countries,” Screen Australia’s head of production Sally Caplan said.

“With a great script exploring universal themes of friendship, difference and acceptance, 100% Wolf is sure to be a hit with family audiences worldwide.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest acting-CEO, said the production provided a fantastic opportunity for WA production company Siamese and local animators.

“For a number of years Screenwest has worked with and supported Francesca Hope and the talented team at Siamese, who will co-produce with Flying Bark Productions, and we are delighted to back 100% Wolf,” Ms Bestall said. “It’s great to see a story set in Fremantle that will provide long-term employment opportunities, broaden the skills capabilities of the local screen sector, and raise the global profile of the Western Australian animation and post production sector.”

“We are thrilled to have received so much support from Screen Australia, Screenwest and Create NSW to bring Jayne’s book to life,” said producers Barbara Stephen and Alexia Gates-Foale.

100% Wolf is a great opportunity for the Australian production industry to work together to create a world class animated feature. Freddy and Batty have wonderful character journeys in this film and we are positive their stories will resonate with audiences in Australia and around the world.”

Studio 100 Film will handle international sales for 100% Wolf.

www.screenaustralia.gov.au

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THE TRADITIONAL image of artists and other creatives needs a big makeover, according to detailed analysis of the 2016 Census by QUT researchers.

According to their findings, digital content and creative software professionals lead the salary race for creatives; newspapers and magazines are rapidly shrinking as employment prospects; and for most creatives, it is either ‘go digital’ or face artistic struggle street. 

“The creative economy is in better shape than it’s ever been in, with jobs in creative services growing at three times the rate of the overall workforce,” QUT research leader Stuart Cunningham said.

“The 2016 Census tells a story of continued strong growth in Australia’s creative economy. New analysis of the Census, and comparisons with previous Censuses going back to 1986, show that, as a share of Australian employment, the creative workforce grew from 3.7 percent in 1986 to 5.5 percent in 2016.

“The most recent data shows almost 600,000 people work in Australia’s creative economy, a term that is wider than creatives employed in cultural production (film and broadcasting, music and performing arts, publishing and visual arts) and creative services (advertising and marketing, architecture and design, creative software and digital content),” Prof. Cunningham said.

“It also includes support professionals who work in these creative industries, as well as ‘embedded’ creatives who work outside the creative industries, across the rest of the economy.

“The creative economy is a job intensive sector. It immerses human talent in meaningful, creative, well-remunerated activity at a scale few other sectors can offer. It is growing at a rate nearly twice that of the Australian workforce as a whole and it is highly likely to continue to grow into the future.”

Prof. Cunningham cited recent reports from the UK on the future of work which predict creative skills are some of the most likely to grow in employability.

“The creative services part of the creative economy is a highly innovative sector, with new jobs being created to satisfy new kinds of economic activity,” Prof. Cunningham said.

“Software and digital content, and new forms of social media management and marketing, are growing especially robustly as destinations for creative talent.

“Our general image of creative workers as barely surviving is not borne out in what we can learn from the Census. However it is definitely still true that those in music and performing arts, and in visual arts, earn well below the Australian mean income – and their relative situation is stagnant or deteriorating.

“It is also the case that publishing (mostly newspapers and magazines) has continued its downward spiral as an employer.

“On the other hand, creative services employment was remunerated at a rate more than 30 percent higher than the Australian mean, with software and digital content professionals earning the highest incomes of the whole sector.”

www.research.qut.edu.au

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SCREEN AUSTRALIA is backing 14 features, one high-end television project and two online series to the tune of $500,000.

There are also four supported talent development placements among the projects.

“This round we have seen a diverse range of projects across features, TV and online, spanning comedy, drama, sci-fi, thriller and family drama,” Screen Australia senior development manager Nerida Moore said.

“This includes projects that are continuing their journey towards production, as well as new projects added to the development slate.

“We continue to support projects from established creatives, such as Wayne Blair, Gerard Lee, Catriona McKenzie and Rachel Perkins, as well as impressive emerging screen talent such as Bec Peniston-Bird, Tania Ferrier, Shannon Murphy, Saman Shad and Jack Yabsley,” she said. 

Among the projects funded for development are:

Rita Kalnejais’ adaptation of her successful stage play Babyteeth, with Shannon Murphy (OffspringLove Child) attached to direct her feature debut. A bittersweet comedy about how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love, the film will be produced by Alex White, with Jan Chapman as executive producer.

Television drama series Darby and Joan, about two strangers who set out on an epic outback journey, is to be produced by Claire Tonkin and Glenys Rowe for CJZ, with executive producers Matt Campbell and Nick Murray, and writer Phillip Gwynne (Australian Rules).

Godfrey, from AACTA-award winning writer/director Wayne Blair (The SapphiresCleverman) and Emmy-nominated and AACTA-award winning writer Gerard Lee (Top of the LakeBreath), which will be produced by Jamie Hilton and Ester Harding for See Pictures. The film tells the story of Godfrey, a man in his 30s with autism who lives with his Indigenous adoptive-brother David. Their precarious domestic balance is destabilised when Godfrey’s new physiotherapist Annie arrives in town.

Online comedy series Gold Diggers to be directed by Shannon Murphy, written by Jack Yabsley and produced by Muffy Potter. The executive producers will be Muffy Potter, Michael Horrocks and Trudi-Ann Tierney, and follows two women in the Gold Rush in Australia who go in search of their own jackpot: newly rich idiots.

Actor/director Matt Day’s first feature directorial project Killing Betty. Based on Day’s 2017 Tropfest-winning short film The Mother Situation, this dark comedy about greed, euthanasia, family and real-estate will be written by Kirsty Fisher and produced by Vincent Sheehan for Porchlight Films.

Award-winning director Rachel Perkins (Jasper Jones) and writer Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones) will reunite for feature The Prospector. This period drama/thriller is set in Western Australia’s Gold Rush, where a woman searches for her missing husband and is forced to question if he truly is the man he claims to be. Miranda Dear and Darren Dale will produce for Blackfella Films.

Stolen is writer/director Catriona McKenzie’s second feature film project, following the award-winning Satellite Boy, and is co-written with Patricia Cornelius (Blessed). Stolen tells the story of a white baby girl who is brought into an Aboriginal community by a dingo. The mystery of her and those around her unravels in reverse-chronological order to reveal who she is and how she came to be. McKenzie will also produce, alongside Liz Kearney for Arenamedia.

Thought Talent+ producers Anthea Williams, Fiona Tuomy, Santilla Chingaipe and Mala Sujan will undertake placements with Causeway Films, Film Art Media, Arenamedia and Easy Tiger respectively. All four producers are alumni of Screen Australia’s Developing the Developer program.

www.screenaustralia.gov.au

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THE Australia Council for the Arts has announced the eight recipients of the 2017 Australia Council Fellowships, each worth $80,000 over two years.

This year’s recipients are Hetti Perkins of NSW for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts; Stephanie Lake of Victoria for dance; Simon Spain of Tasmania for community arts and cultural development; David Haines of NSW for visual arts; Paul Jackson of Victoria for theatre; Willoh S. Weiland of Tasmania for emerging and experimental arts; Arnold Zable of Victoria for literature; and Andrée Greenwell of NSW for music.

Contemporary choreographer Stephanie Lake, the recipient of the fellowship for dance, will use it to support the development of a large scale work involving more than 50 performers. 

“This fellowship really allows me to keep going, and to be even more ambitious in what I can achieve,” Ms Lake said.

Paul Jackson’s fellowship for theatre will allow him to expand his practice as a multi-award winning lighting designer.

“This really is a key program for providing support and encouragement for mid-career and established artists,” Mr Jackson said. “It enables you to do those things that simply aren’t possible when you're going from job to job trying to make a living.”

The recipient of the community arts and cultural development fellowship, Simon Spain, said the fellowship would support him to continue creating and connecting communities of young people through the arts.

“It will allow me to better advocate for arts and artists in Tasmania and, importantly, to give more of my time to that work,” Mr Spain said.

For composer Andrée Greenwell, the music fellowship will allow her to pursue a series of ambitious projects, including the development of a new work for Opera Queensland.

“I’m honoured and very excited to be undertaking collaborations with leading Australian artists and organisations through this award,” Ms Greenwell said.

Arnold Zable’s fellowship for literature follows more than three decades of storytelling and literary achievements.

“I think it’s important for our culture. To have an Australia Council, and to have support for the arts in this form is an acknowledgment that the arts matter,” Mr Zable said.

Australia Council Fellowships are offered once a year, with applications assessed and awarded by a peer panel made up of experts in the relevant art forms. Applications for the 2018 Fellowships are open until June 5t 2018.

www.australiacouncil.gov.au

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WITH only a few weeks remaining for female singer-songwriters across the state to enter Queensland Music Festival’s (QMF) 2018 Carol Lloyd Award, artistic director Katie Noonan is calling out to musicians to enter the award for a chance to be presented with a $15,000 grant to kick start their career. 

The Carol Lloyd Award was launched in 2016 in honour of Australia’s first ‘Rock Chick’ Carol Lloyd, with the aim of supporting the state’s emerging female musicians. Each year, one exceptional artist either born in or currently residing in Queensland, is awarded the funding to assist in recording an original full-length album, or record and tour an EP, as well as broadening their experience in the music industry and connecting with some of Queensland’s most respected artists. 

In 2017, eclectic alt-pop musician Georgia Potter, also known as Moreton, was selected as the inaugural Carol Lloyd Award winner. Ms Potter has used the opportunity and Lloyd’s legacy to make crucial industry connections and take the next step in her career.

"The award has meant I’m now at the cusp of releasing Moreton's sophomore record. Without the funding or the support from the Carol Lloyd Award, I'm not sure I'd be standing at this juncture quite as quickly,” said Ms Potter. 

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BRISBANE-based start-up Creatively Squared won this year's Creative3 Pitch competition – claiming Australia’s Creative Business Cup – presented at the opening of the recent Creative3 Conference.

Founders Ruth Stephensen and Scott Thomas took out the top prize for their custom visual digital marketing platform that pairs creatives with brands looking for more engaging content.

Hosted by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), Creatively Squared will now go on to represent Australia as part of the Creative Business Cup challenge in Denmark in November, as well as take part in the Virgin StartUp accelerator program, StepUp. 

“We’re so excited to have won the Creative3 Pitch today,” Creatively Squared co-founder and chief creative officer, Ruth Stephensen said.

“We’ve built our platform to be global from day one, so to be able to share our vision on the world stage at the Creative Business Cup is a great opportunity for us.

“We’re so thankful that CEA gives creative businesses like us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and present our businesses at this level. It’s really positive to see the creative industries in Australia continue to diversify and grow.” 

The Creative3 Pitch breakfast kicked off the beginning of the Creative3 Conference at the Brisbane Convention Centre on September 22.

Creative3 is Australia’s only conference for creative tech start-ups. The conference gives start-up founders the opportunity to hear from international and national speakers, as well as experts within the industry, including SOSV managing director William Bao Bean and Annie Parker from Fishburners and Code Club Australia. 

“We’re really pleased with the calibre of talent presenting at the CreativePitch this morning,” QUT Creative Enterprise Australia acting CEO Mark Gustowski.

“Starting a company from scratch and working it to scale is challenge enough in itself, let alone presenting that company to a room full of potential investors and experts in your industry.

“We’re really proud to be able to offer up Creatively Squared as the Australian representative for the Creative Business Cup, and look forward to being able to follow their growth in the years to come.”

Other finalists for the Creative3 Conference were start-ups Pluss, Postie and Folktale.  

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