Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

The Evolution and Influence of the Australian Film Industry

The Australian film industry, with its rich and diverse history, has significantly contributed to the global cinematic landscape. From its early beginnings in the late 19th century to its current prominence on the international stage, this article explores the evolution of Australia’s film industry.

Early Beginnings

The birth of Australian cinema can be traced back to 1896 when Marius Sestier, a representative of the Lumière Brothers, screened some of the first moving pictures in Sydney. However, it was not until 1906 when Australia produced what is widely regarded as the world’s first feature-length narrative film – ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’. This silent movie depicted the life and crimes of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and established a trend for bushranging films that dominated Australian cinema for several years.

The Silent Era

During the silent era (1896-1929), Australia produced approximately 150 feature films. This period was characterised by an intense exploration of uniquely Australian themes such as mateship, survival in harsh landscapes, and rebellion against authority. These themes were often presented through narratives revolving around convicts, bushrangers, shearers and other quintessential Australian figures.

The Introduction of Sound

The advent of sound revolutionised global cinema in the late 1920s. In Australia, this transition led to a significant downturn in local production due to high costs associated with sound technology and fierce competition from Hollywood imports. Despite these challenges, notable films such as ‘On Our Selection’ (1932) emerged during this period highlighting rural life and Aussie humour.

Post-War Revival

In post-war years (1945-1970), there was a renewed interest in Australian cinema. Government initiatives such as the establishment of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and the production of films like ‘Jedda’ (1955), Australia’s first colour film, helped revitalise the industry. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s when Australian cinema truly began to flourish.

The Australian New Wave

The period from 1970-1985, often referred to as the ‘Australian New Wave’, witnessed a resurgence in Australian filmmaking. Fuelled by government funding and support from institutions like the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), this era produced internationally acclaimed films like ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ (1975), ‘Mad Max’ (1979), and ‘Gallipoli’ (1981). These films showcased a mix of historical narratives, dystopian themes, and captivating storytelling that resonated with both local and international audiences.

Contemporary Era

Since the late 1980s, Australia’s film industry has continued to evolve and adapt to changing global trends. The contemporary era has seen an increase in co-productions with other countries, a rise in digital filmmaking, and a focus on diverse stories reflecting Australia’s multicultural society. Films such as ‘The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of The Desert’ (1994), ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’ (2002) and ‘The Great Gatsby’ (2013) have not only achieved commercial success but also contributed to shaping Australia’s cultural identity.

Australian Film Industry Today

Today, the Australian film industry is recognised globally for its innovation, talent, and unique storytelling capabilities. It continues to produce high-quality content across various genres while remaining true to its roots by exploring uniquely Australian narratives. With increasing support from both public and private sectors, the future of Australian cinema looks promising.

The history of the Australian film industry is indeed a testament to the resilience, creativity, and passion of its filmmakers. From its humble beginnings to its current standing on the global stage, it has consistently showcased Australia’s unique culture, history, and identity through film. As we look forward to what the future holds for Australian cinema, one thing remains certain – it will continue to captivate audiences with its compelling stories and distinctive cinematic voice.


Gerard is a distinguished individual with a passion for the written word. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Sydney and a Master's in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, he has a firm grounding in the classics as well as a modern take on storytelling.

Gerard's career began in journalism, where he honed his skills in research and narrative, eventually transitioning into blogging to share his insights on a more personal platform. His blog, "Illusions of Wisdom", has become a popular source of commentary on a variety of topics, ranging from contemporary literature to societal observations, all infused with his signature wit and thoughtful analysis.

A man of eclectic tastes, Gerard is an avid collector of vintage typewriters, finding the mechanical beauty and history of each piece fascinating. When he's not clacking away at the keys of his latest find, he indulges in his love for nature through gardening. His backyard is a testament to this passion, with an array of native Australian plants that not only thrive in the local climate but also attract a variety of birdlife, which Gerard takes great joy in observing.

Gerard is also a keen traveller, having ventured across continents to explore different cultures and their stories. This love for exploration is not limited to the physical world; he's equally comfortable diving into the digital realm, where he engages with fellow enthusiasts in discussions about the intersection of technology and literature.

In his downtime, Gerard is an amateur chess player and enjoys the strategic depth of the game. He also finds solace in the calming strokes of watercolour painting, a hobby that complements his writing by allowing him to express himself in a burst of colour.

Through his blog, Gerard continues to inspire his readers, encouraging them to find beauty in the mundane and to always remain curious about the world around them.

Articles: 238

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter