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The most expensive film ever to be made in Australia announced

The much anticipated Disney (NYSE: DIS) film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea will be shot in Australia, with Disney expected to spend some $160 million in Australia in the course of production. It will be the most expensive film ever shot Down Under.

As The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The long-running negotiations to bring Disney’s big-budget adventure film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to Australia have finally borne fruit, with the federal government announcing today that it has secured the most expensive movie ever to be made in Australia thanks to a one-off grant.

Arts minister Tony Burke and Prime Minister Julia Gillard jointly announced a $21.6 million payment to attract the major production, which represents a huge coup for the local film production sector. They claimed it “will result in substantial new investment in Australia and could create up to 2000 jobs”.

While film buffs will be excited to hear that director David Fincher and Brad Pitt are rumored to be attached to the project, investors may want to take a look at one interesting way to play the Australian film and television industry — with a company operating outside of the headlines and news of big-budget foreign productions.

Spotlight on an overlooked local media company

Disney may be only listed in the U.S., Australia has its own interesting media and production companies, including Beyond International Limited (ASX: BYI). This small, under-followed company, with just a $75 million market cap, produces and distributes television content, including MythBusters and Selling Houses Australia, for markets across the globe. Beyond International also distributes DVDs throughout Australia and New Zealand, in a business segment that accounts for about 20% of revenue.

At an EV to EBITDA ratio of just 3.5, BYI shares certainly look cheap, perhaps not just because of the shares flying under the radar, but also because of the difficulty of understanding the business as a whole. Still, it’s an interesting play, and small-cap investors may want to put BYI on their watch lists.

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The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool writer/analyst Catherine Baab-Muguira does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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