Cairns may eventually rival the Gold Coast as a film hub.

And that seems appropriate for a city that is often mispronounced. Cairns sounds like Cannes when some people say it – and even ABC newsreaders get it wrong.

And while it might not be the location of a famous film festival, Cairns will soon start building a profile as a screen hub. 

For starters, Aussie Shore, the first Australian iteration of the smash-hit international reality franchise from MTV Entertainment Studios that began with Jersey Shore, is set to showcase Cairns (not Cannes) and Far North Queensland to the world.

Filming starts in April, with the Paramount+ and MTV Entertainment Studios production being the first to use the newly completed $12.6 million Screen Queensland Studios, located in the Cairns suburb of Portsmith.

Secured by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy, Aussie Shore is estimated to contribute more than $3 million to the Queensland economy and provide about 100 crew and cast roles during production, with these benefits largely concentrated within the Cairns region.

Newish Screen Queensland CEO Jacqui Feeney says that the series will not only broadcast the stunning natural beauty and exciting tourist attractions of Far North Queensland to the global Paramount+ audience, but also foster new advantages for local businesses.

“Reality series like Aussie Shore engage a wide range of services and suppliers, including tourism operators, local guides, catering, security, hospitality, transport and accommodation,” Feeney says. “This production will also highlight the region’s culinary scene, nightlife and adventure activities to new international markets.”

Local actors who often get a few days on the Gold Coast while playing mostly smaller roles in movies will look forward to shooting in Cairns, that’s for sure. It will be like a working holiday.

Principal photography will largely be on location up north but cameras will roll at Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns, and Aussie Shore will also use its production offices, post-facilities and other facilities.

“We are excited to be officially opening Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns, later this week, and to have a production already confirmed demonstrates the significant interest in North and Far North Queensland as a filming destination of choice,” Feeney says.

“Our studio facility will ensure that the region has a strong base for producing homegrown stories as well as building a pipeline of projects attracted from interstate and internationally that, over time, will create more long-term career paths for locally based screen practitioners.”

Daniel Monaghan, senior vice president content and programming, Paramount Australia, says Cairns and Far North Queensland is “the perfect setting to deliver a distinctly Australian take on this much-loved global reality hit”.

“The region’s mix of iconic locations, unique experiences, skilled local crew, capable businesses and suppliers, as well as key infrastructure like the new studios, makes it the ideal place for our production of Aussie Shore that will be unforgettably entertaining for local and international reality TV fans on Paramount+.”

Screen Queensland Studios, Cairns, will officially open on April 24. Its development was motivated by increased demand from local, national and international productions to be made in the unique and spectacular North and Far North Queensland region.

The complex offers a 1070sqm sound stage, production offices, editing suites, sound recording studio, construction and wardrobe facilities, as well as an event space and creative tenancies.

Recent local productions include Tastes of the Tropics (with Screenworks, SBS Food and Cutting Edge as part of Screen Queensland’s North Queensland Regional Program), 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, Revealed: Reefshot, Emmy-winner Puff: Wonders of the Reef and romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise.

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