Site for New Studio Comple in Tropical Cairns Revealed

Artists’ impression of the external of Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns

Picture tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches and remote island oases… Renowned for its stunning on-screen locations, Far North Queensland is soon to boast a state-of-the-art film and TV studio complex to open for business in the city of Cairns from mid-2022.

Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns will complement Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane in the state’s capital, and Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast – the largest studio facility in the Southern Hemisphere – creating a state-wide studios network and giving producers yet another reason to choose Queensland for its incentives, locations, facilities and world-class crew.

Motivated by high demand from both Australian and international productions to film in this unique and spectacular part of the world, once completed the new studio complex will house a sound stage and support facilities including production offices, construction, wardrobe, and hair and makeup departments, along with an events space and permanent creative tenancy opportunities.

The 6,500 square metre (69,965sqft) building site, unveiled by the Queensland Government and Screen Queensland today, is situated on a 4.8 hectare (11.9 acres) footprint, ideally located five minutes from the Cairns CBD and 13 minutes from the airport with excellent access to major highways.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said the new Cairns studio will attract productions from around Australia and around the globe, while building on Screen Queensland’s history of supporting the Far North Queensland screen industry to grow, developing local creative talent, content and screen businesses.

“Queensland is open for business for the screen industry, and this new studio complex in Far North Queensland adds to an impressive offering of world-class studio facilities, unbeatable locations, some of the most competitive incentives and exceptional local crew.

“Currently filming at Mission Beach south of Cairns is Screen Queensland-supported Irreverent – Matchbox Pictures’ drama series for Universal Studios Group about a criminal who poses as the new church reverend in a small reef town.

“Other recent productions for Far North Queensland include the Queensland-made hit movie This Little Love of Mine, which rated number one on Netflix in the UK, and Network Ten series Dive Club also released on Netflix – both produced by Queensland’s The Steve Jaggi Company.

“The region is also home to expert local screen businesses such as the First Nations-led Lone Star Productions, the team behind the NITV and SBS food and travel program Strait to the Plate, and cinematographers BioPixel and BioQuest who worked on David Attenborough’s Life In Colour.”

Screen Queensland Head of Studios Derek Hall said that alongside being a drawcard for productions keen to take advantage of the incredible locations in the region, while having a studio base nearby, the facility will function as a vital creative hub for the city of Cairns and the wider region.

“With this new complex in Cairns, Screen Queensland will soon be operating a network of studios across the state – that’s massive for Queensland and welcome news for local crew and creatives,” Mr Hall said.

This latest announcement follows a record year of production activity for the state of Queensland, which secured 41 domestic and international productions in 2020-21, including Thirteen Lives, Escape from Spiderhead, Young Rock (Seasons 1 & 2), The Wilds (Season 2), The Portable Door, True Spirit and Nautilus, among others.

During the same year, the Queensland Government via Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy incentivised nine international productions, including four feature films and five TV series, and six domestic productions, including two features and four series.

Universal Studios Group’s Joe Exotic is currently in production at Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane, where Young Rock (Season 1) also filmed earlier in the year.

Speaking about the experience of producing Young Rock (Season 1) at Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane, Series Co-creator and Executive Producer Jeff Chiang said, “Shooting in Queensland, I’d definitely do that again, It’s been an incredible experience. I can’t speak more highly of it. It’s been just a total pleasure to work here.”

Construction on the new Cairns facility, funded by Queensland Government’s $6.8 million commitment to the project, commences in early 2022, with the facility expected to be operational by mid-2022.

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