Mark Melrose has been appointed to lead Screen Queensland Studios as it expands from Brisbane to the state’s Far North.

Screen Queensland Studios: Cairns will enhance the region’s production capacity across sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and Port Douglas.

The area has already attracted some big-name productions including “Wizards” by Plan B Entertainment, See-Saw Films and A24, with Pete Davidson and Orlando Bloom.

The Brisbane Screen Queensland Studios, meanwhile, have recently played host to NBC Universal’s “Joe vs Carole”, Season 1 of “Young Rock” and Paramount Pictures’ “Love and Monsters”.

Melrose’s remit will be to drive occupancy at Screen Queensland Studios: Brisbane and oversee the construction and eventual operation of Screen Queensland Studios: Cairns, which is due to open in 2023. The Gold Coast is also earmarked as the site for another facility.

Melrose joins Screen Queensland after his recent tenure as festival director of Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival in Winton. He was also operations manager for the 2021 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) and spent 15 years at Queensland Rugby, including eight as head of operations.

Soon-to-depart CEO of Screen Queensland, Kylie Munnich, welcomed Melrose to the team, highlighting his commitment to the industry and unique blend of skills.

“Well-known to our local industry as a leader in the screen culture sector, we are delighted that Screen Queensland Studios will now benefit from Mark’s significant experience, depth-of-knowledge and relationships in film as well as results-driven business operations,” she said.

“Mark joins us following the Queensland Government’s recent announcement that Screen Queensland Studios: Cairns has received a further $5.8 million, boosting our budget to $12.6 million, so we are all greatly looking forward to starting construction soon and opening our doors next year.”

Melrose said he is excited to see the Cairns studio blueprints come to life and is ready for the challenge of running the studios network.

“As a festival director engaged with screening and celebrating film, I have seen Queensland grow as a local production hub and a destination for Australian and international productions, drawn by our enviable combination of stunning locations, fantastic weather and studio facilities,” said Melrose.

“I’m extremely passionate about providing space for local talent to thrive and I’m focused on strategically leveraging the current success of Screen Queensland Studios to further propel production attraction in the diverse and film-friendly regions of Brisbane and Far North Queensland.”