On last night’s SBS World News (8 Aug 2015), one of the important stories dealt with the Federal Government’s current review of the process of granting work visas to foreign actors to participate in Australian film, TV and stage projects. Many producers want to remove MEAA (Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance – actor’s union) involvement in the evaluation process as well as cut red-tape so more actors from USA, England, etc. can work here. The union and many actors say that these changes will only open the gates to a potential onslaught of foreign actors which will only lessen the already difficult working opportunities for Australian actors in their homeland. The producers are also pushng for the removal of the current rule that ensures 50 percent of lead roles and 75 percent of supporting roles in films that receive government funding are played by Australian actors.
Actor and talent-agent Jon-Claire Lee, who has appeared in such films as Muriel’s Wedding and Mao’s Last Dancer, said removing those guidelines would make opportunities for Australian talent even more scarce. “Will we be able to create the new Hugh Jackmans and Cate Blanchetts? I don’t think so,” he said. “If they say, ‘Let’s bring in five main cast from the US or England, there will be some extras and 50-worder, small roles for the Australian cast’, what will that do for new up-and-coming people in Australia?”
The Federal government says it is still happy to accept submissions. There is no confirmed date yet as to when the government findings will be released.
To view the broadcast story, go to below link: