Last night, the MPAA partnered with the Embassy of Australia to co-host a reception and advance screening of Disney’s The Light Between Oceans. Australia has become a global hub for filmmaking, recognized for the beauty of its filming locations and for having a respected pool of talent, both in front of and behind the camera.
Prior to the screening, MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd and Ambassador Joe Hockey gave remarks celebrating the friendship between the U.S. and Australia that fosters creative collaborations like The Light Between Oceans – and the mutual cultural and economic benefits it brings to both countries. They also voiced their support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, of which the United States and Australia are both members.
Senator Dodd said of the trade proposal: “For our industry, the TPP will open markets for films and other creative works and secure the strong protections for copyright that are fundamental to a healthy marketplace for film and television products. The copyright protections embodied in the TPP underpin and facilitate the diverse and innovative viewing experiences that audiences want and demand. And, frankly, the best way to foster cultural diversity is to expose audiences to diverse films and allow the audience to determine what they will go see.”
The Australian Ambassador praised the film and reflected on its local impact. “The Light Between Oceans is a great story that brought the town together,” he said. “Tasmania is pristine wilderness. It’s a great part of the world, and it’s a very long way from here. The fact that they can do something that has an impact on the world is one of the benefits of trade. Someone in the most obscure part of the world has the opportunity to be a part of something that changes the world.”
In 2012-2013, Deloitte estimated that the film and television sector contributed $5.8 billion to Australia’s GDP and employed approximately 46,600 Australians.
Ambassador Hockey concluded by reflecting on the power of film: “Film has made the unreal real in the minds of so many people who have dared to dream.”
Featured Image: Ambassador Joe Hockey(left) and Senator Dodd. Photo Credit: Joy Asico