Australian show business backs content quotas
There's no business like show business and for Australia, it looks like Disney and Netflix will be funding it.
Several Aussie stars are backing the government's call for quotas requiring streaming giants to provide a certain amount of local content, as Disney+ is set to release its first Australian series.
Lord Of The Rings actress Miranda Otto stars alongside Guy Pearce and Teresa Palmer in The Clearing, an eight-part series following the nightmares of a cult.
The psychological thriller, filmed in Victoria and produced with Australian talent, will hit screens in May ahead of the government's imposed deadline for content regulation.
Otto is one of the many industry figures supporting the move by the government, having moved back to Australia.
"We have the talent here, the writers, the actors, the directors and all of that, but to actually have the budget to make something epic is really exciting," she told AAP.
"I love the idea that there would be a certain amount of Australian content on stream."
As part of the national cultural policy, the government set a deadline of July 1 next year for imposing content quotas, but crucially the actual numbers have yet to be determined.
Logie Award winner Hazem Shammas, who stars in The Clearing believes investment from streaming giants will help elevate the industry to an international level.
"It's a nice little confidence boost for all of us to go, 'We've got the talent'," he told AAP.
"We've got the ideas and they stand up at a world-class level. We should really use The Clearing to go, 'Yeah, we make it good in the world'."
From The Clearing's director to its writers and stars, the support for regulation is unanimous.
Writer Elise McCreedy believes 20 per cent of revenue made by streaming services in Australia should be put back into the industry, aligning with demands by Screen Producers Australia.
For actress Kate Mulvaney who has been in the industry for more than two decades, the regulation is vital.
The recent removal of content quotas for Australian children's television resulted in half the number of local children's shows in 2020/21, and of the seven titles commissioned during that time, six came from the ABC.
"It's really important that we show that we make exceptional stories that are worthy of our world stage," Mulvaney told AAP.
"We've got 60,000 years of history in this country, and we've got a lot of stories to tell. It's an absolute privilege to tell the stories of this country, so let's do it."