Agency looks to build pride in Oz cinema

09 July, 2015 by Don Groves

Screen Australia has started a scoping study to figure out new approaches to building pride in Australian films.

The workshopping of ideas is a tacit recognition that the Australian cinema ‘brand’ was tarnished last year by a string of films that underperformed at the B.O., reflected in the lowly market share of 2.43 per cent.


Arguably the brand wasn’t the underlying problem as audiences this year have readily embraced The Water Diviner, Paper Planes, Mad Max: Fury Road and That Sugar Film, in addition to the well-received Frackman and Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead.

Moviegoers may well feel more even confident about the entertainment value of national cinema with Brendan Cowell’s Ruben Guthrie and Gillian Armstrong's Women He's Undressed launching next week, followed by Jeremy Sims' Last Cab to Darwin, Simon Stone's The Daughter, Jocelyn Moorhouse's The Dressmaker, Neil Armfield's Holding the Man and Stuart McDonald’s Oddball.

Still, Screen Australia’s communications manager Imogen Corlette is working with the agency For the People to consult with a variety of industry stakeholders on ideas to develop a more engaged market for Australian films.

“We are looking to reframe the ways people think and talk about Australian film – shifting perceptions of success away from a simplistic focus purely on box office performance, to encompass less visible achievements, and a deeper appreciation for the many impressive achievements in a global industry,”  she says on the Screen Aus website .

“As a first step we’re looking at how and why attitudes to Australian film tend to form and how we might be able to encourage Australians to feel as proud of our achievements in this arena as we do in so many others. This is no small – or new – task, nor one we want to do in isolation.”

The agency plans to draw up an action plan encompassing PR, events, digital/social and other initiatives designed to “create a culture of pride and passion amongst consumers.”

By the time that rolls out, audiences may well have re-engaged with our films even more.