FTI merges with Screenwest

EMERGING filmmakers can no longer turn to the Film and Television Institute WA for support, after the not-for-profit closed its doors recently.

FTI was responsible for nurturing up-and-coming talent in the screen sector for 45 years, but will now merge with Screenwest who will take up the role.

Former FTI chair Mitchell Wells said the group was faced with an uncertain future and funding cuts, and the merge would provide stability to emerging filmmakers.

“It is of course with a tinge of sadness that we make this announcement… this move is not made lightly, and we examined closely our various options,” Mr Wells said.

“It is clear that consolidating with Screenwest is the best way forward to ensure services to the emerging filmmaking sector continue to be delivered.”

FTI relocated from Fremantle in 2014, and historically have provided edit suites to filmmakers, an animation centre and production facilities for filmmakers.

Most recently, FTI provided many Aboriginal filmmakers their first broadcast credits as part of the Deadly Yarns series.

“I would like to acknowledge the FTI Board and staff and thank them for their professionalism in what has been a tough few years,” he said in a statement.

Screenwest chair Janelle Marr said her organisation was committed  to ensure that funding continues for effective, efficient and strategic programs for early career filmmakers.

“Screenwest will provide a range of early career programs including short film initiatives; mentorships, coaching and advice; and skills development short courses.

“We will work with FTI to make sure there’s no gap in the delivery of these programs,” Mrs Marr said.

Department of Culture and the Arts director Duncan Ord said the move will provide “considerable administrative efficiencies which will enable more money to be spent on grass roots programs for emerging screen practitioners.”

by CHARLIE SMITH

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