WA’s Film and Television Institute has issued a statement saying that The West Australian Screen Awards have been postponed, with no later date currently set.
Originally scheduled for July 3 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, the Awards are a victim of uncertain funding in WA’s arts sector, with FTI’s funding from the WA Department of Culture and the Arts not guaranteed past the end of the financial year.
FTI hopes to make an announcement regarding the WASAs in May, with CEO Paul Bodlovich saying they aim to reschedule the awards for late October or November.
This comes at a time when WA’s publicly funded film sector is undergoing massive upheaval, with state funding body Screenwest currently transitioning into a non-government organisation. Bodlovich allowed for the possibility that FTI could be absorbed by the reconfigured Screenwest, saying, “…there is a question about whether the industry will be best served by both Screenwest and FTI operating in tandem, or there being a consolidation of the two entities.
“The possibility of future funding is tied to current discussions between FTI and Screenwest which are focused on identifying the organisational structure that will best support the emerging screen sector. The outcome of these discussions will inform DCA as they make a decision on whether to continue to fund FTI.
“Presuming FTI continues, we will be looking at new partnerships and opportunities that will see a more flexible organisation, and the Screen Awards will remain our premiere annual event. No arts organisation wants to be on a government drip-feed, nor should they be. But the sudden changes in the operating environment in the last year make this decision to postpone – as unpleasant as it is – the only responsible one available to us.”