Indie documentary sheds light on the current state of the Australian film indust

27 January, 2012 by IF

Press release from Avril Turner

A new, indie documentary is to be produced, investigating the current state of the Australian film industry. While Australia has produced an array of highly acclaimed features over the years, interest in Australian Cinema has been experiencing a steady decline – it's been over 20 years since Baz Luhrman's Strictly Ballroom (1992) reached number one at the Australian Box Office and no Australian film has reached these heights since.


Independent filmmaker Courtney Dawson hopes to raise some eyebrows and get people talking about to her documentary film project, Advance Australian Film (AAF) with the release of her 2.30 minute teaser trailer (via YouTube) on the film’s website on Australia Day eve ( A controversial topic to some, she wants the public and the industry to start engaging with the subject on the forum, Facebook page ( and Twitter (@advanceausfilm, #advanceausfilm) by openly expressing their own opinions and suggesting some solutions.

While she managed to produce the trailer with the help of friends, funds will be needed to create the full-length film and she hopes that people who believe in the subject will donate to her Pozible Campaign ( – gifts will be rewarded for contributions. Metro Screen are supporting the film through their Jump Start scheme which provides some equipment use, but funds are still needed for crew and other important expenses such as archival footage and music licensing.

Dawson believes this film has been a long time coming and hopes it will ultimately help make a difference. “I started to talk to people about our national cinema, and came to the realisation that many of my friends did not actively support Australian films – in fact, a couple of people said that they would refuse to watch a film if it was Australian. At that point I knew I had explore this further”.

According to Screen Australia, feature films under Australian or shared creative control earned only 4.5% of the total Australian box office in 2010.

“After undertaking a few preliminary interviews for the trailer with both industry professionals and the Australian cinema-going public, it is clear that people are passionate about making a change”.

It seems that for decades Australian films have been struggling to connect with audiences to achieve financial success – so what needs to be done to save the future of our industry? Advance Australian Film will investigate the changing relationship audiences have with Australian films, and will seek answers to one of the most pressing questions within our industry today – why has it been 20 years since an Australian film has reached number one at our box office, and what can we do to make a change for the better?

What do you think? Visit and watch the trailer now.