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RAHS Day Lecture – Home Talent: Australia’s Itinerant Filmmakers

December 2 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


From the earliest days of film in Australia, travelling film exhibitors brought entertainment and news to even the smallest communities. Some filmed mostly factual records of a town and its people. But others were part of a trend of so-called ‘home talent’ or ‘community’ filmmakers who travelled the countryside making fictional films funded by and starring a town’s leading citizens and their families. Graham Shirley will follow a brief overview of Australia’s travelling film exhibitors with a more detailed look at the home talent films made across the continent. The presentation will look at how a stock standard script called The Adventures of Dot was repeatedly filmed as its itinerant directors and cameramen visited town after town.

About the speaker: Graham Shirley has worked as a director, writer and researcher on Australian historical documentaries. He has conducted numerous oral histories and is co-author of Australian Cinema: The First 80 Years (Currency Press, 1983 & 1989). From 2006 to 2014 he worked for the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, initially as a senior curator and subsequently as NFSA Historian. In mid-2014 he returned to freelance researching, writing and consulting. He is an RAHS councillor and a member of the Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT).

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December 2
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Royal Australian Historical Society
(02) 9247 8001

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