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.

South Australian Film Corporation



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 centuryEdit

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: relocationEdit

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]

2009–2012: FilmLabEdit

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] The initiative ran until 2012, and was credited with launching the careers of at least 12 filmmakers, and also helped to bring to fruition critically-acclaimed films including Shut Up Little Man, 52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man.[21]


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.[22]

Also in 2017, The Heysen Hicks Set Construction Studio, so named in honour of filmmakers Scott Hicks and his wife Kerry Heysen [fr] AM, was opened.[23]

James Wan's reboot of video game franchise Mortal Kombat as a feature film was the largest film production in the state's history.[24] In May 2019, it was announced that the film had entered pre-production and would be shot in South Australia,[25] before being released in April 2021.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

Governance and fundingEdit

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.[29][30]

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.[31]

Current strategies and projectsEdit

First Nations Screen Strategy 2020–2025Edit

The First Nations Screen Strategy 2020–2025 was launched in November 2020,[32] in partnership with Channel 44.[33] The First Nations Advisory Committee comprises Elaine Crombie, Natasha Wanganeen, Major Moogy Sumner, Dennis Stokes, and John Harvey.[32]

Film Lab: New VoicesEdit

"Film Lab: New Voices" is an initiative launched in 2021, delivered by the SAFC and the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF), in collaboration with Mercury CX, with the delivery of the development phase of the inaugural round assisted by Screen Australia. It enables teams of emerging filmmakers to develop a low-budget feature film over a 12-month period, mentored by an experienced story developer, with one team chosen for funding to complete the making of their film ready for the next AFF.[34] At least one member of each team must be from a group under-represented in the SA film industry, including filmmakers who are women; First Nations; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD); Deaf and disabled; LGBTQIA+; and/or who live in regional and remote parts of the state.[21]

In the inaugural round, 49 teams submitted 63 projects,[35] and three teams were selected for further development of their projects[34] over an 11-month period.[36] Funding of A$400,000 (US$288,000) was provided by the SAFC and AFF for the winning team, comprising director Matt Vesely (director), Lucy Campbell (scriptwriter) and Bettina Hamilton (producer), to bring their film Monolith to the 2022 AFF. The other two teams continue to be developed and will seek funding to bring their projects to completion.[35][37]

The second round opened in August 2021, with seven projects shortlisted in February 2022 and the three successful teams eligible for further development to be announced in March 2022.[37] To support the SAFC First Nations Screen Strategy (2020-2025), one of the three teams selected for development will have at least two members identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.[38][39] The winning film will be shown at the AFF in 2024.[21]

Influence on Australian filmmakingEdit

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.[40]

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.[41]

Major productionsEdit

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

SAFC as producerEdit

SAFC as production facilitatorEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "South Australian Film Corporation". Association of Film Commissioners International. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b "South Australian Film Corporation Act 1972". Government of South Australia. Attorney-General's Dept. Retrieved 11 August 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 11 August 2019. {{cite journal}}: 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 15 January 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 16 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Food from the reluctant Earth - Details - Trove". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Soil erosion [videorecording] / [presented by] The South Australian government [and] The South Australian Dept. of Agriculture. - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Port of Adelaide - Details - Trove". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Parent involvement in schools : Education Department of South Australia. [videorecording] : - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Your place or mine? - Details - Trove". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Housing / South Australian Film Corporation. [videorecording] / - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 16 January 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 22 May 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Made in SA Showcase". SAFC. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  17. ^ "New home for SA Film Corp". Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  18. ^ Smith, Matthew (10 October 2013). "Winning the war: SA Film Corp justifies Glenside studios move". Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  19. ^ Pascale, Louise (29 October 2014). "SA film and TV industry's uncertain future". InDaily. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  20. ^ "SAFC announces FilmLab participants". IF Magazine. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  21. ^ a b c "New SA filmmaking talent in the spotlight as inaugural Film Lab New Voices teams announced". FilmInk. 14 March 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  22. ^ Frater, Patrick (10 May 2017). "'Soccer Swap' Series set as Australia-China Co-Production". Variety. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Set Construction Workshop". SAFC. 12 July 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  24. ^ 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 11 August 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  25. ^ Collis, Clark (14 May 2019). "James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat movie to shoot later this year". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  26. ^ McNary, Dave (17 May 2019). "New 'Mortal Kombat' Movie to Hit Theaters in 2021". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  27. ^ Marsh, Walter (20 August 2019). "Local producer Kate Croser to lead South Australian Film Corporation". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 25 August 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. ^ Keen, Suzie (30 October 2019). "Amanda Duthie resigns from SA Film Corporation". In Daily. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  29. ^ "State Budget Sees Cuts to the Arts and Significant Changes to Arts South Australia". AICSA - Arts Industry Council of South Australia. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  30. ^ "Creative Industries". South Australia. Dept of Innovation and Skills. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  31. ^ 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 11 August 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  32. ^ a b "First Nations Screen Strategy 2020-2025". SAFC. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  33. ^ "SAFC launches new First Nations Screen Strategy and Channel 44 partnership". SAFC. 13 November 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  34. ^ a b Slatter, Sean (12 March 2021). "SAFC announces teams for inaugural Film Lab: New Voices". IF Magazine. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  35. ^ a b George, Sandy (22 February 2022). "Sci-fi 'Monolith' wins first greenlight from Australian film lab". Screen. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  36. ^ "Success for South Australia's Inaugural Film Lab: New Voices". SAFC. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  37. ^ a b "Final feature greenlit for Film Lab round one". Adelaide Film Festival. 21 February 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  38. ^ "Film Lab: New Voices enters second year with new opportunity for First Nations filmmakers". SAFC. 22 September 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  39. ^ "SAFC announces second round of Film Lab: New Voices with First Nations focus". IF Magazine. 23 September 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  40. ^ "Film:South Australian Corporation revives nation's film industry with 'Sunday too far away', 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' and 'Storm boy'". Adelaide AZ. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  41. ^ "Adelaide Studios". SAFC. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2021.

External linksEdit