World-class Screen Hub For Tropical North Queensland

Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch and Member for Mulgrave and FNQ Screen Champion Curtis Pitt cut the ribbon with Elders Professor Henrietta Marrie and Teresa Dewars to open Screen Queensland's new Cairns studio.

  • Screen Queensland’s $12.6 million Cairns studio hub is open for business.
  • State-of-the-art screen complex supported 300 construction jobs and will generate long-term employment and economic benefits for Far and North Queensland.
  • The screen hub includes a 1,070 m2 sound stage, sound recording studio, editing suites, set construction and wardrobe facilities and an events space.

North and Far North Queensland are home to the southern hemisphere’s newest screen production hub with a $12.6 million Screen Queensland studio opening today in Cairns.

Built inside a former warehouse-style retail store and supporting 300 construction jobs, Screen Queensland’s Cairns production hub features a 1,070 m2 sound stage, digital video editing suites and a sound recording studio.

The Cairns hub also has movie set construction and wardrobe spaces.

Four tenants have leased space in Screen Queensland’s Cairns complex including acclaimed First Nations production company Lone Star Productions, Platinum Talent Management, audio-video specialists Wallfly and camera suppliers Lemac Film & Digital.

The Miles Government’s $12.6 million investment in the Cairns studio hub is backed by an extra $8 million over six years in operating costs for the high-tech, state-of-the-art screen complex.

Screen Queensland’s North Queensland Regional Program will put $4 million into growing the local creative community with skills development, improved capacity and industry connections.

The Cairns hub joins existing facilities in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, which have supported 63 productions, generating more than half a billion dollars for the state’s economy and 4,000 good Queensland jobs.

Quotes attributable to Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch:

“For nurturing the growth of Queensland’s national and international reputation as an emerging screen powerhouse, the potential of the new state-of-the-art Cairns screen hub is enormous.

“The Miles Government’s investment in Screen Queensland’s Cairns hub and attracting international film production means new training opportunities and jobs for Far North Queensland’s screen industry economy.

“We’re priming a pipeline of screen production in FNQ to share more of the region’s awe-inspiring natural assets and the diverse cultures and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders with national and overseas screen audiences and cultural visitors.”

Quotes attributable to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Member for Mulgrave and Far North Queensland Screen Champion, Curtis Pitt MP

“From the time I started pushing for these studios in 2018, and subsequently accepting the role as Screen Champion in 2021, I have worked closely with Screen Queensland and key stakeholders to grow investment in Far North Queensland’s screen sector.

“The Queensland Government’s commitment to driving economic growth in the far north and supporting jobs for local screen practitioners has resulted in this $12.6 million state-of-the-art facility coming to fruition.

“Investment in the studios’ infrastructure has already generated more than 300 local jobs and will create more employment opportunities for the Cairns community as the studios attract national and international screen production.

“The region’s breathtaking tropical locations will also feature as backdrops in these national and international productions, further reinforcing Queensland’s Far North as a global tourism destination.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Cairns and Tourism and Sport Minister Michael Healy:

“Screen Queensland’s Cairns Studios are also a big win for Tropical North Queensland’s international visitor economy recovery.

“The Cairns hub creates more opportunities for global producers to work locally on their next movie blockbuster, supporting good jobs for a growing number FNQ-based screen professionals.

“We know when movie goers witness Tropical North Queensland’s iconic locations, they’ll want to experience our world-class destination for themselves, which is great news for the region’s accommodation providers and tourism operators.”

Quotes attributable to Screen Queensland CEO, Jacqui Feeney:

“As we inaugurate Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns, we celebrate the culmination of the Queensland Government’s investment and multi-year commitment to bolstering North Queensland’s vibrant screen industry.

“This investment will ensure the Far North is so much more than extraordinary locations.

“Through initiatives like the Film Intensive Script to Screen program, we’ve cultivated a fertile ground for talent to flourish.

“These studios aren’t just soundstages, they are incubators of creativity, empowerment, and economic growth, poised to propel Queensland’s screen sector to new heights.”

Quotes attributable to Screen Queensland Board member, Aaron Fa’Aoso:

“As we come together to celebrate the grand opening of Screen Queensland’s new studios in Cairns, I am filled with deep gratitude and pride. It is with immense honour that I acknowledge the original team, whose unwavering commitment and strategic foresight have paved the way for this extraordinary moment,” Mr Fa’Aosa said.

“Alongside the Honourable Curtis Pitt MP, Ross Straguszi, and Barry Stewart, we have tirelessly advocated for this endeavour, overcoming numerous challenges along the path. Our collective determination and unyielding belief have transformed a mere dream into a tangible reality.

“This remarkable studio marks the dawn of a new era for the Far North Queensland screen sector, a testament to the remarkable achievements that can be realised when passion and purpose align. Today, as we celebrate this significant milestone, we lay a solid foundation upon which to build a vibrant future for our industry.

“Let this be a reminder of the boundless possibilities that lie ahead, and let our shared vision inspire generations to come. Together, we shall continue this incredible journey, fuelled by our unwavering dedication and the promise of a thriving future for the screen industry in Far North Queensland.”

Fast Facts:

  • Screen hub construction started in March 2023 by local company Richard Field Constructions, supporting 300 jobs. 
  • Screen Queensland initiatives include the $250,000 NQ Enterprise fund, SBS Food series Tastes of the Tropics, NQ Authentic with ABC, and the NQ New Online Voices initiative in partnership with Screenworks and Screen Australia.
  • Screen Queensland has also launched the Film Intensive Script to Screen initiative to train 30 new writers and crew from the region, run in partnership with Essential Screen Skills, Kolperi Outback Filmmaking and Screen Well. Three short films are currently in production.
  • Locally-made productions supported by Screen Queensland in North and Far North Queensland include international Netflix hit Love is in the Air starring Delta Goodrem, upcoming US feature film Wizards!, Stan Original drama Black Snow, SBS Food cooking and cultural series Strait to the Plate, ABC documentary series The Black Hand, feature documentary Beyond The Reef, reality series Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Emmy-winner Puff: Wonders of the Reef and romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney and Julia Roberts.   

/Public Release. View in full here.