Putting SA’s film renaissance in the frame

On the set of ‘Sunday Too Far Away’

The artistic brilliance of South Australian films drew world-wide acclaim in the 1970s, and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) was squarely at the centre of the renaissance.

On Friday May 31, a set of early documentaries and promotional films produced by the SAFC will be shown in Flinders University’s Central Library as part of Hollywood in the South: 40 years of the SAFC.

There will also be a discussion of the SAFC’s formative years led by film and cultural historians, including Flinders staff members Associate Professor Mike Walsh and Dr Ruth Starke.

Associate Professor Walsh of the Screen and Media Department is writing a full-length official history of the SAFC. He said government-commissioned documentaries and advertisements were enormously important to the development of the industry in the State.

“This is where directors such as Scott Hicks and Mario Andreacchio learned their craft,” Associate Professor Walsh said.

The 16mm films include a 1978 tourism short Days I Remember in SA, which starred performer Julie Anthony with cinematography by Russell Boyd, who shot Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Associate Professor Walsh said the short opens in London, where Julie and her husband are “oppressed by the weather and the English”, then moves to the sunshine and tourist highlights of South Australia, with shots of Anthony “bestriding Remarkable Rocks and sporting a dirndl in Hahndorf”.

Also showing will be a behind-the-scenes feature film promotion, The Making of Sunday.

Sunday Too Far Away was a vital film for the Corporation: it led the renaissance of film in the State, which was one of the centrepieces of Don Dunstan’s cultural policy,” Associate Professor Walsh said.

“It was shown at Cannes and became a very prestigious movie, helping to position South Australia as a leading place for film innovation in Australia.”

The session begins at 3pm in the Noel Stockdale Room.


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