A Far North Queensland Bunnings will undergo a $6.8-million transformation to become Screen Queensland’s new 6500sq m production facility as the industry ramps up in the sunshine state.
Screen Queensland chief executive Kylie Munnich said the film industry had had a record-breaking year, with about $480 million injected into Queensland’s economy last financial year.
And 2022 is looking to be even bigger with Hollywood stars including Julia Roberts and George Clooney flying in for filming during the summer.
“Recent productions for the region 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, which was filmed in Port Douglas and released to international audiences on Netflix recently,” Munnich said.
“The Far North is home to expert local screen businesses such as 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.
“Currently in production at Mission Beach in Far North Queensland 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.”
The $6.8-million overhaul would create a sound stage and support facilities, including production facilities, construction, wardrobe and hair and makeup departments, as well as events space and creative tenancy spaces.
The site at the corner of Spence and Fearnley streets would create a creative hub for the Far North, according to Screen Queensland’s head of studios Derek Hall.
“The implementation committee is working with architects and designers to create a facility that is multi-purpose and supports collaboration, serving the needs of a wide variety of local screen creatives and the wider artistic and cultural community in general,” he said.
“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 an exciting opportunity for local crew and creatives to have such a facility in their backyard.”
Construction on the new facility will begin early in 2022 and is should be operational by mid-2022.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there had been a record number of film projects lured to the state.
“In the last 18 months we’ve had a record number of projects being filmed here or wanting to film here, generating millions for our state economy and requiring a workforce of thousands,” Palaszczuk said.
“The pipeline of productions is critical for our economic recovery, having kept Queenslanders in jobs throughout one of the most challenging times in our history.
“And we want to continue and grow that momentum which is why we promised to build a new $6.8-million studio in the Far North.
“This new studio for the north also creates a state-wide network of world-class facilities with Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane and Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, giving producers yet another reason to choose Queensland.”