South Australian Film Corporation
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South Australian Film Corporation

South Australian Film Corporation

South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) is a South Australian Government statutory corporation established in 1972 to engage in film production and promote the film industry, located in Adelaide, South Australia. The Adelaide Studios are managed by the South Australian Film Corporation for the use of the South Australian film industry.



The South Australian Film Corporation was founded as a production company in 1972,[1] established under the South Australian Film Corporation Act by the Dunstan government.[2][3] It was intended "to stimulate and encourage the formation and continued development of the South Australian film and television industry".[4] At the time of the Corporation's establishment, the Australian film industry was stagnating, and the Corporation played a significant role in the revival of Australian film making. Premier Don Dunstan played an instrumental role in the foundation of the Corporation and its early film production activities.[5]

From its genesis, the SAFC collaborated with various government departments and agencies in the production of short documentaries and educational films.[6] These included co-productions with the South Australian Department of Agriculture and Fisheries,[7][8] Department of Marine & Harbors,[9] the Education Department,[10] the Office of Fair Trading,[11] the Department of Housing, Urban and Regional Affairs[12] and others.

In the 1980s, the SAFC shifted its focus to television production. It relocated to a disused Philips factory in Hendon in the north-west suburbs of Adelaide. Jock Bair was head of drama.[13][14]

In 1994 its role changed, as it ceased producing films and became the government's central agency to provide assistance to independent film makers. The television mini-series The Battlers was the last production produced by the SAFC. As the first state film corporation in Australia, the success of its business model led other state governments to establish similar bodies charged with the promotion of film production and fostering industry development.[4] Since then, it has focused on supporting (including providing funding) and facilitating the production of films and television in South Australia, as well as making production and post-production facilities available.[4][15]

21st century

SAFC facilitated the production of the Nine Network program McLeod's Daughters (2001-2009), which was filmed on location in rural South Australia.[16]

2008-2011: Relocation & FilmLab

In 2008, SA Premier and Arts Minister Mike Rann secured cabinet approval from the South Australian Government to fund the relocation of the SAFC[17] at a cost of A$43 million.[18] The project included new sound stages and mixing suites, as well as a major refurbishment of an historic 19th-century building as a high-tech film hub. The Corporation moved its headquarters to Glenside, an inner eastern suburb of Adelaide, sharing the historic former administration building of Glenside Hospital with film production company Closer Productions. The new Adelaide Studios were opened by Rann on 20 October 2011.[19]

FilmLab was a low-budget feature film initiative created in 2008, with a budget of A$4.2 million to be allocated to the production of eight low-budget feature films over four years, from initial concept through to delivery and marketing of the films. In May 2009 the four successful teams were announced, chosen from a shortlist of 14: Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason and Matt Cormack of Closer Productions; Hugh Nguyen and Eddie White of the People's Republic of Animation; Julie Ryan of Cyan Films with Matthew Bate of Plexus Films; and Ashlee Page and Sonya Humphrey of Sacred Cow Films.[20]


In 2017, the Corporation announced that a new TV Series called "Soccer Swap" was a co-production with Australia's 57 Films and China's Qingdao TV.[21]

James Wan's reboot of video game franchise Mortal Kombat as a feature film will be the largest film production in the state's history.[22] In May 2019, it was announced that the film series' reboot had entered pre-production and will be shot in South Australia,[23] to be released on 5 March 2021.[24]

In August 2019, CEO Courtney Gibson resigned, returning to Sydney 15 months after taking up the role. A few weeks later, the government confirmed the appointment of South Australian producer Kate Croser, who has had a long career in Australian film and television.[25]

Amanda Duthie, who in late 2018 left her post at the Adelaide Film Festival and became Head of Production, Development, Attraction and Studios, also serving as acting CEO of SAFC after Gibson's departure, resigned her position to return to Sydney as of 22 November 2019.[26]

Governance and funding

The Corporation was responsible to the state Minister for the Arts until March 2018, then reported to the Premier Steven Marshall until July that year, when it was transferred to the Department of Innovation and Skills.[2] From 1996 it received funding via Arts SA (later Arts South Australia), until that body's disbandment by the Marshall government in late 2018.[27][28]

In June 2019, the state government announced a huge boost to funding of the film industry, with a one-off A$6 million awarded to the SAFC's Screen Production Investment Fund. Mortal Kombat is a major recipient.[29]

First Nations Screen Strategy 2020-2025

The First Nations Screen Strategy 2020-2025 was launched in November 2020,[30] in partnership with Channel 44.[31] The First Nations Advisory Committee comprises Elaine Crombie, Natasha Wanganeen, Major Moogy Sumner, Dennis Stokes, and John Harvey.[30]

Influence on Australian film making

The Corporation's activities contributed to the rebuilding process undertaken by Australia's film industry, with other states set up similar bodies after SAFC's establishment. Besides its productions that had critical and commercial success in the 1970s, the Corporation's productions helped to launch the careers of many artists, including Peter Weir, Jack Thompson, Scott Hicks, Rolf de Heer, Mario Andreacchio, Bryan Brown, Geoffrey Rush and Bruce Beresford.[32]

The Adelaide Studios have provided facilities for feature films such as The Babadook, Hotel Mumbai, Storm Boy, I Am Mother and Mortal Kombat, as well as many television series.[33]

Major productions

Works listed below can be found via the SAFC "Made in SA Showcase" web page.[16]

SAFC as producer

SAFC as production facilitator

See also


  1. ^ "South Australian Film Corporation". Association of Film Commissioners International. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b "South Australian Film Corporation Act 1972". Government of South Australia. Attorney-General's Dept. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "South Australian Film Corporation Act 1972" (PDF). Version: 12.5.2011. Government of South Australia. Attorney-General's Dept. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "A Short History of the SAFC". South Australian Film Corporation. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p17
  6. ^ "Mirror, mirror .. girls [videorecording]. - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ "Food from the reluctant Earth - Details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Soil erosion [videorecording] / [presented by] The South Australian government [and] The South Australian Dept. of Agriculture. - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ "Port of Adelaide - Details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Parent involvement in schools : Education Department of South Australia. [videorecording] : - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Your place or mine? - Details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "Housing / South Australian Film Corporation. [videorecording] / - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Philippa Hawker, "Going South: the Adelaide Connection", Cinema Papers January 1987 p21- 23
  14. ^ Albert Moran, Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, AFTRS 1993 p 548-550
  15. ^ "A Short History of the SAFC". Archived from the original on 18 August 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Made in SA Showcase". SAFC. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "New home for SA Film Corp". Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ Smith, Matthew (10 October 2013). "Winning the war: SA Film Corp justifies Glenside studios move". Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ Pascale, Louise (29 October 2014). "SA film and TV industry's uncertain future". InDaily. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ "SAFC announces FilmLab participants". IF Magazine. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 2021.
  21. ^ Frater, Patrick (10 May 2017). "'Soccer Swap' Series set as Australia-China Co-Production". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Marsh, Walter (19 June 2019). "State Budget adds millions in Adelaide Festival and film industry funding as other arts organisations face cuts". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ Collis, Clark (14 May 2019). "James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat movie to shoot later this year". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ McNary, Dave (17 May 2019). "New 'Mortal Kombat' Movie to Hit Theaters in 2021". Variety. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Marsh, Walter (20 August 2019). "Local producer Kate Croser to lead South Australian Film Corporation". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  26. ^ Keen, Suzie (30 October 2019). "Amanda Duthie resigns from SA Film Corporation". In Daily. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ "State Budget Sees Cuts to the Arts and Significant Changes to Arts South Australia". AICSA - Arts Industry Council of South Australia. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ "Creative Industries". South Australia. Dept of Innovation and Skills. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ Marsh, Walter (19 June 2019). "State Budget adds millions in Adelaide Festival and film industry funding as other arts organisations face cuts". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  30. ^ a b "First Nations Screen Strategy 2020-2025". SAFC. Retrieved 2021.
  31. ^ "SAFC launches new First Nations Screen Strategy and Channel 44 partnership". SAFC. 13 November 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  32. ^ "Film:South Australian Corporation revives nation's film industry with 'Sunday too far away', 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' and 'Storm boy'". Adelaide AZ. Retrieved 2019.
  33. ^ "Adelaide Studios". SAFC. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2021.

External links

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