Explores behind the big screen to meet the filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors who bring Australian films to us, the audience.

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Explores behind the big screen to meet the filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors who bring Australian films to us, the audience. The cinema was once a place where Australian culture thrived: audiences were educated, entertained and inspired by Australian stories, characters and landscapes. But now, alarmingly, out of the $945.4 million spent at the Australian box-office in 2008, only $35.5 million (3.8%) was spent on Australian films. Australian films are clearly not connecting with the cinema-going audience. Why? The film begins by tracing the history of Australian cinema, from the production boom in 1910-12, declining steadily to the barren post-war years. The film investigates the regeneration of the domestic production industry, championed by a dedicated few, in the late 1960s. Bruce Beresford, Phillip Adams and Alan Finney recount what the atmosphere was like in the 1960s and 1970s while distributors and exhibitors, Andrew Pike (Electric Shadows), Chris Kiely (Valhalla), ... Written by Andrew Scarano

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29 October 2009 (Australia)  »

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AUD 25,000 (estimated)
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(HDV 1080i50)

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1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Into The Shadows. The fate and future of Australian Cinema.
29 April 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Into The Shadows is a very enlightening documentary on the fate and future of Australian Cinema. It explains each stage of development which the craft has undergone since the late 60's with panache and humor. I was riveted to the screen while this excellent narrative of the rise and fall of Australian themed cinema played on ABC TV 1.

The range of Australian professional talent and expertise on screen was wonderful. While it was biased towards the success of Australian independent film-making Into The Shadows had a strong dose of reality throughout.

Piquant criticism of the funding models, distribution monopolies and anti-competitive thuggery is balanced by self deprecatory pokes at film-makers who don't make films people want to see.

In several sections the film unfolds its historical appreciation and its verdict on the golden days of Australian film and its sorry contemporary situation, where 3.8 % or thereabouts of the AustralianBox Office is gleaned from showing Australian themed and made films. The arguments of Into The Shadows about what is wrong with Australian film were very acute.

I thought that it made less than it might of the possibilities for independent film-makers to sell their films or co-produce with Television and related platforms but that was not its main focus.

As a musician and song writer, I was struck by the comments that the Film Industry threatened to become a cottage industry. The sub-text of this part of the film touches a raw nerve about trying to produce an album or a film and only being able to do so every now and then because of the difficulties of making a living of any kind as a creative person in Australia.

I was very impressed with the way this film was an example of the very processes the film- makers wanted to promote, especially the creation of independent small budget films as platforms for newcomers and new ideas that people do want to hear. I would like to see a follow up featuring the micro-independent scenes that are developing and the people who are making the classic independent films of tomorrow.

The Producers have created a film which makes me want to see more of their work and to be prepared to take what they have seriously, which is a rare response from me. Rob Scott


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