Advance Australia Film - an exciting new documentary
Ellee McClymont | On 11, Mar 2014
What was the last Australian film you saw at the cinema?
Itâ€™s been over 20 years since an Australian film (Strictly Ballroom, 1992) made it to number one at the box office, and since then the Australian film industry has trailed off, almost into complete obscurity.
Courtney Dawson investigates the state of our declining film industry in her highly relevant documentary, Advance Australia Film.
Featuring commentary from the likes of Baz Luhrman, Hugh Jackman and film critic David Stratton, as well as a myriad of industry professionals and aspiring filmmakers, Advance Australia Film takes a good hard look at why itâ€™s so hard to make a successful Aussie film.
Dawson finds that funding, marketing and distribution issues are very much to blame for our dwindling film industry, which struggles to grow in the shadow of the very lucrative, heavily funded and highly popularised Hollywood industry.
Put simply, anyone who is any good in Australia heads overseas to get some proper attention, and in turn this makes it even harder for new talent to break into the industry.
So, how do we fix Aussie film? Dawson encourages us to support our home-grown cinema projects, and also makes a call to the film industry itself, to consider distribution options outside the cinema that are cheaper and more accessible.
From Australiaâ€™s first feature film in 1906, to Aussie cinemaâ€™s peak era in the â€˜80s and â€˜90s, and finally to the current, shaky status of our film industry, Advance Australia Film is as much an interesting retrospective of Australian Film, as it is a call to action.
For those of you whoâ€™ve never taken a liking to Australian film before, itâ€™s a must watch and an eye-opener.
Financed from online donations, Courtney Dawsonâ€™s documentary is itself an example of a new era in Australian film production, where crowd funding may hold the key to a new golden age for local film.
Advance Australia Film premiered at the Byron Bay Film festival on March 1, and screened at Sydneyâ€™s WOW Film Festival on March 7, with more releases to come.