Lights, Camera, Action: It’s All about Australian Cinema
Lights, Camera, Action: It’s All about Australian Cinema

Film and Magic have always been allied as the filmmakers are fancied just like the magicians. In fact, most of the time the filmmakers are regarded as magicians only! You wonder why? Well, the magicians and filmmakers follow the same approach to leave people beguiled by the charm of their work and that is, blending the extraordinary with the ordinary. When we look at the big screen, everything that happens on it impacts us in a number of ways, from altering the way we see the world to sharing it with others. Cinema does not only change the way we perceive the world, but also the way we see ourselves. When you experience the cinema in its fullest glory, you get the ability to connect mentally and emotionally with the characters. Cinema is not like some ordinary audiovisual thing, it is the dream you see with open eyes. It is the language made of images, the dream where you hop back and forth in a few hours. Whatever happens here means something to you, just like a dream!

Every country has its own film industry, its own way to narrate a story through a bunch of shining characters. Cinema becomes a window through which the essence of the society can be taken in the sight. When you see your own country on the big screen, you hear your own language, see your own landmarks, and listen to your own stories. Similarly, the Australian film industry has influenced the natives in a number of ways and made a significant contribution to the film industries worldwide

Let’s Take a Sneak Peek into the History of the Australian Film Industry

Not many of you know but it is the fact that the very first feature-length film “The Story of the Kelly Gang” was produced by Australia in 1906. The films like Gallipoli, Breaker Morant, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and The Man from Snowy River became the center reason for the rejuvenation of the Australian film industry in the 1970s and 1980s. And then came a gleeful phase for the Australian film industry when the government funded it under Prime Minister John Gorton.  Like they say everything in life comes with its positives and negatives, the government funding offered the same to the Australian film industry. On one hand, the film industry revived with government funding while on the other people started to believe that these films were only in accordance with the government selection criteria. The people were unable to connect with these films and the culture pictured.

Nothing lasts forever! Over the past few years, the Australian film industry turned the corner and has come around with a new mindset. Now, the movies are all about PEOPLE, their values, and their culture. The great movies like “Tomorrow When the War Began”, “Animal Kingdom”, and “Mao’s Last Dancer” are completely audience-friendly and engaging. These genre-driven films are liked better as compared to the introspective and arthouse films which once dominated the Australian film industry. As reported by Screen Australia in 2013, the screen stories like “Red Dog” and “The Sapphires” reflect a more structured Australia and are pretty much refined and practical.  

How Australian Movies Ruled the Local Box Office

When the Australian film industry bounced up from the pits and came into view, it was all set for its biggest ever haul at the local box office. As per the records, the shining year for the Australian film industry was 2015 when it collected a revenue of $64.09 million at the Australian Box Office. It was a huge success as this amount was higher than the revenue of the years 2013 and 2014 combined. This share of the box office was 6.8% which was the highest since 2001.  Not just this, the best days for the Australian film industry were yet to come with the arrival of “The Dressmaker”. The moment some movies like “Oddball”, “Blinky Bill”, and “Last Cab to Darwin”, gained more success, the new records were set and took Australian Film Industry to another level.

On top of everything, the release of the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” by George Miller took a lap of luxury for the Australian film industry as it collected a revenue of $21.65 million. Following this, the release of “The Water Diviner” proved to be fortuitous as it generated $10.18 million. Wait, how can we forget about the significant addition made by the Australian documentary? Damon Gameau's “That Sugar Film” was the first Australian Documentary with the highest revenue of $1.71 million at the box office.

The Australian Cinema has Worked Its Way Up 

Ever since the Australian film industry made a huge comeback, it has been collecting praises from everywhere. The main reason for which Australian cinema managed to step-up was the introduction of diversity in its films. These films were totally audience-friendly because of which people are able to relate with the characters and connect emotionally with the movies. These movies are full of good humor, heroism, nostalgia, funny pranks, family love, personal struggles, social conscience, and whatnot. One amazing attribute of Australian Cinema is the way it presents its dark times of the past rather than keeping them away from the audience

The Australian cinema never hesitates to put forward the social issues through its movies and the ways to deal with them. It shows the need to laugh, care, and respect. The Australian films have always been crystal clear about the audience they are targeting and the message they want to communicate. It is highly believed that the Australian cinema will continue its roaring trade at the box office and reach a new success peak each passing year. 


Written By
Amelia Smith in Arts and Entertainment
18 Feb 2021