ACT funds hope to emulate Secret City success

Matthew Raggatt



Canberra will again be on show on the small screen on Sunday night, and the ACT government wants to ensure the nation’s secret capital continues to enjoy wide exposure.

As Foxtel’s six-part political drama, Secret City, makes its TV debut, Chief Minister Andrew Barr will announce $250,000 for the small agency that helps draw producers to town.
“Backed by government funding, ScreenACT has been hard at work in recent years attracting film and television productions to the capital, making tonight’s premiere just the latest in a series of small screen appearances for our beautiful city,” he said.

The base funding matches that provided to ScreenACT in the 2015-16 ACT budget, while $285,000 was granted in 2014-15
Secret City was filmed around Canberra last year, and is based on The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code, political thrillers written by ABC TV journalist Chris Uhlmann and former News Corp writer Steve Lewis.

Mr Barr said production companies were now flocking to the capital, with ScreenACT and the Screen Production Fund also supporting series one and two of ABC political drama The Code, Joe Cinque’s Consolation and the ABC-commissioned Canberra Confidential and Art + Soul II.

ScreenACT director Monica Penders said the rest of Australia was now recognising Canberra as an under-utilised filming location.

“Secret City has demonstrated that Canberra is an amazing back drop for good quality story-telling, with ease of access, world-class recognisable locations and clear unpolluted high-altitude light,” she said.

“Furthermore, we have a collaborative filmmaking community in the ACT, and compared with other jurisdictions it is easy to make a film or television series here.”

Secret City will be broadcast on Sunday nights at 8.30pm on Foxtel’s Showcase channel.