FTI federal funding to be discontinued from 2016

A statement from FTI:

FTI advises that Screen Australia have confirmed core funding for FTI through to the end of 2015, beyond which time this Screen Australia funding will cease. FTI has been successfully assisting and developing screen practitioners with funding support from the federal government for over 30 years.

Until recently FTI had faced the possibility that funding would cease in mid-2015, and only six weeks ago faced the possibility of funding ceasing immediately.  So, we view this news as a mix of good in the short term and disappointing in the long term.

FTI wishes to thank the Western Australian screen community for strongly communicating the importance of FTI’s role in fostering a healthy and successful screen sector in Western Australia.  Screen Australia acknowledged the “considerable support provided by local communities” as being instrumental in their board’s decision to extend funding through 2015.

Unfortunately, Screen Australia has announced that, along with other screen resource organisations around the country, we will no longer be supported with core funding beyond the end of 2015.  It is FTI’s view that this decision suggests that the federal government does not understand the importance to the screen industry of developing emerging practitioners, and furthermore exacerbates perceptions of a lack of understanding by Screen Australia of the regional issues and challenges faced by the industry outside of Sydney and Melbourne.

Over the coming months, FTI will continue to lobby for a reversal of this decision so that we may continue to assist emerging and mid career screen practitioners and enhance the vibrancy of the Western Australian Screen Sector beyond 2015.  And, we will continue to redefine our own not-for-profit business, run on behalf of our members and the broader community, and to plan around the loss of one third of our core government funding representing around 10% of our turnover.

Screen Australia have stated their intention to review their professional development programs to determine if further savings could be made if they were delivered by Screen Network organisations. FTI will work closely with Screen Australia towards achieving this.

FTI has no reason to believe that this scenario will lead to a similar decision by our state government funder ScreenWest who have been active in expressing their support for FTI for which we thank them, especially Chief Executive Ian Booth and Chair Peter Rowe.

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