Australian Movie Industry Suffers Due to Strong Currency

May 29, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. picturesque [pik-chuh-RESK] (adj.) – visually beautiful and charming, like a painting
Example:  The picturesque Himeji Castle is a popular destination among tourists.

2. shoot [shoot] (v.) – to film or to take a photograph
Example:  Film productions need a permit to shoot in public places.

3. blockbuster [BLOK-buh s-ter] (n.) – something very popular and successful (like a movie, novel, show, etc.)
Example: The blockbuster movie “Titanic” earned a total of $1.84 billion in ticket sales worldwide.

4. jeopardy [JEP-er-dee] (n.) – risk or danger
Example:  Making sudden decisions can put your career in jeopardy.

5. back [bak] (v.) – to give support to someone or something
Example:  The government backed and funded the film project.


Read the text below.
With its picturesque landscapes, Australia has long been a popular filming location among international film producers. However, the country's strong currency is now causing a decrease in the number of foreign productions shooting in Australia.

Numerous films have been made in Australia, including blockbusters like Star Wars Episode II and III, the Matrix Trilogy, Mission Impossible 2 and Moulin Rouge [moo-LAN roozh]. From 2000 to 2009, Australia gained an average of US $137 million each year from foreign productions.

But as the Australian dollar became stronger and stronger, movie makers started to look for cheaper alternatives. As a result, Australia gained about $1 million in 2010 and $3 million in 2011. No major foreign movie was made in the country during those years.

In an effort to win back filmmakers, the Australian government is offering incentives, grants and tax cuts.

For instance, the government will give a $22 million grant to Disney to shoot a film in Australia. According to ministers, the money will be well spent because foreign productions create jobs, generate investments and uphold Australia as one of the world's best filming locations.

However, some people say that Australia should focus on its domestic film industry rather than spend millions to attract foreign producers. Ignoring the local industry might cause long-term damage and put thousands of jobs in jeopardy.

Peter Krausz [krouz], chairman of the Australian Film Critics Association, says foreign movies do not reflect Australian values, culture, and stories. Australia should back its own movies that feature the country itself, Krausz added.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Australia should focus on attracting international filmmakers or on strengthening its local movie industry? Why do you say so?
·         What do you prefer:  a foreign or a local film? Please explain your answer. 

Discussion B

·         What, for you, is the most important aspect of a movie? (Plot, characters, visuals like scenery or computer graphics, etc.) Please explain your answer.
·         If you could make your own film, what would it be about and why?


May 29, 2013