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Luhrmann’s Gatsby to be shot in Sydney after govt handout

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith
Leonardo DiCaprio.jpg

Australian producer and director Baz Luhrmann is bringing his 3D production of The Great Gatsby to New South Wales following a federal government tax break.

The film adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is due to start filming at Fox Studios in Sydney in August according to Premier Kristina Keneally.

The film, starring hollywood stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire has a $A120 million production budget.

The clincher for the deal was a 40 percent tax rebate offered by the federal government for films by Australian producers. It means Warner Bros will get a $120 million movie for less than $80 million.

While Kristina Keneally was happy to yell from the rooftops about New South Wales landing The Great Gatsby production, she was less forthcoming about how much money the state had invested in the project.

Based on investments in previous productions it could be as much as $A12 million dollars of taxpayers money.

I think that $A52 million of Federal and State taxpayers money given to Hollywood to make it in Australia is a rather expensive job creation scheme.

What Australia and New Zealand are seeing is Hollywood studio’s trying to play the Australasian film industry off against Eastern European countries to force the price down.

The Australian and New Zealand governments are only too happy to drop their trousers at the first hint of a cherished production being swept away to Europe.

What the studio’s get out of the deal is world class production facilities in Australia and New Zealand making movies at third world prices. The difference is paid for by the tax payers. So what is new? The politicians get to grandstand, the hollywood studios get cut-price films made, the local film industry stays affloat and the local tax payers foot the bill for it all.

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