Curtis Pitt to champion screen sector in Far North Queensland

Premier and Minister for Trade The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Far North Queensland’s thriving screen industry will receive a further boost with Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt championing the region to attract productions, create jobs and maximise opportunities.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the appointment of Mr Pitt as the Far North Queensland Screen Champion to continue to build on the region’s vibrant screen sector.

Working with Screen Queensland and key stakeholders, the FNQ Screen Champion will grow investment in the Far North’s screen sector, support jobs for local screen practitioners and drive the delivery of state-of-the-art production facilities in the region.

“Beyond its reputation as an agricultural hub and a tourism hotspot, Far North Queensland is increasingly recognised as an attractive destination for local and international film and television production,” the Premier said.

“To unlock the region’s potential, in 2019 I was in Cairns with Curtis Pitt to launch the Far North Queensland Screen Strategic Plan, to boost professional capability, support local creatives and foster a positive screen culture here.

“As the new Far North Queensland Screen Champion, Curtis will help deliver on the priorities identified in the plan, as well as screen infrastructure commitments announced at the last State election, including a new $6.8 million production facility.”

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said he was excited to take on this new role, responsibilities for which would include the promotion of screen opportunities in the region, building awareness of available funding for local screen practitioners, and chairing a steering group to facilitate delivery of Screen Queensland’s $6.8 million production facility in the Far North.

Mr Pitt said he was proud to showcase the outstanding talent, facilities and breathtaking locations in the Far North.

“Since the start of 2020, we’ve seen extraordinary interest and investment in Queensland’s screen industry, with 39 productions secured by Screen Queensland, injecting an estimated $437 million into the local economy and creating more than 5,500 jobs,” Mr Pitt said

“For the Far North, this includes productions including Dive Club to air on Network 10 and Netflix, Strait to the Plate on SBS and NITV, crime drama series Troppo and the drama series Irreverent, both to air on ABC.

“As FNQ Screen Champion, I’ll ensure the Far North stays in the picture – renewing interest in the region by working to facilitate the delivery of new screen production facilities and maximising screen investment from Cairns to the Torres Strait.

“As Screen Champion I will also be a champion for local storytellers – including First Nations writers and directors – who are bringing stories of the Far North to screens across the world.”

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich welcomed the appointment and its focus on further developing the screen industry in the Far North.

“The appointment of a FNQ Screen Champion is recognition not only of the increased national and international interest in the Far North as a filming location, but also acknowledges the incredible local talent who call the region home,” Ms Munnich said.

“Over the years, local screen businesses like Cairns-based Lone Star Productions and BioQuest Productions have drawn upon the Far North’s natural strengths to create unforgettable projects for local and global markets.

“Last month saw the premiere on NITV, SBS Food and SBS On Demand of Lone Star Productions’ series Strait to the Plate – a celebration of Torres Strait communities and food culture.

“BioQuest Productions co-produced the upcoming Netflix documentary Microworlds: Reef.

“This month the youth series Dive Club, produced by The Steve Jaggi Company and filmed in Port Douglas, will air on Network 10 and on Netflix in more than 190 countries outside of Australia.

“And later this year, the Far North will play a starring role in the new ABC crime drama Troppo, as well as Matchbox Pictures’ Irreverent, a ten-part drama series which follows a criminal on the run from New York who is forced to hide out in a reef town in Far North Queensland.

“Working alongside the FNQ Screen Champion, we look forward to further growing the screen industry in the Far North.”

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