Press release from Miranda Brown Publicity:

ABC TV, the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFFIF) and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) are pleased to announce their first joint commission, with the launch of a $150,000 initiative to co-finance a half hour documentary celebrating the life and work of South Australian born, Hollywood pioneer J. P. McGowan.
The commissioned documentary will have its world premiere at the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival and be broadcast on ABC1’s 10pm Tuesday Artscape slot. 

Along with the documentary, the commissioning partners envisage an online component, which will provide the audience with the opportunity to interact, play, and be creative with footage from McGowan’s body of work. The online component will be launched to coincide with the premiere screenings.
South Australian born J.P. McGowan (1880 -1952) was one of Hollywood’s most prolific pioneers: actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and industrial advocate for the motion picture industry.

He remains the only Australian to have lifetime membership of the Screen Directors Guild, with a screen career spanning 30 years and more than 600 production credits from the dawn of the silent era through to the introduction of the ‘talkie’.

McGowan’s first film appearance was in A Lad from Old Ireland made in 1910, with other credits including 26 episodes of the 1914 adventure film series The Hazards of Helen and the 12 episode serial, The Hurricane Express where he directed a young John Wayne.

Known as the Railroad Man for his penchant for action movies involving railroads, he made common the image of the terrified beauty tied to a railway track with a locomotive rushing towards her.

Adelaide Film Festival Director, Katrina Sedgwick, says: ‘We are delighted to be working with the SAFC and ABC on this joint venture. J.P. McGowan offers a rollicking story that epitomizes the energy and risk taking of the early days of Hollywood – and his brash physicality and love of a stunt is something we plan to celebrate at the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival with this new documentary and on line component as a centerpiece.”

SAFC CEO, Richard Harris, added: ‘"It is fitting that two local film pioneers, in the South Australian Film Corporation and AFFIF, have joined together with the ABC TV to celebrate one of Australia’s original film trailblazers. This initiative will provide a local filmmaking team with a great opportunity to showcase their talent and to tell a genuine South Australian story to a national audience. We look forward to receiving proposals from the industry"

ABC TV Head of Arts & Entertainment Amanda Duthie: “This is a unique opportunity to celebrate a little known innovator of cinema and ABC is keen to explore J.P McGowan’s contribution to film with South Australian filmmakers through a variety of platforms.”

ABC TV, AFFIF, SAFC invite South Australian producers and/or companies to apply for funding to produce the project and encourage ideas from both emerging and experienced filmmakers and teams. Applications close at 5pm on Friday 22 January 2010 with the selection process to be completed by the end of February 2010 when the winner will be notified.

For further details on the Initiative please contact:
Melissa Juhanson, SAFC Project Manager: Tel: 08 8348 9346
Please email your application submissions to the below:
Lynn Marie Newall, SAFC Program Coordinator: