Experimental Shorts from the Women's Film Fund

Thursday June 28 @ 7:30PM, Arena Project Space, 2 Kerr St Fitzroy. $7.

                                  Still from  A Song of Air  (1988)

                                  Still from A Song of Air (1988)

Big mother is watching you, guiding you, filling you with confidence, pushing you to produce. She is the Women’s Film Fund.

                        (‘The New Women Filmmakers – Moving Pictures’, Vogue Australia, January 1981)

These films are about incest, abortion, lesbians and other obscene subjects…these films attack the structure of the family…they are just plain filth.

            (Mr B Goodluck, MHR for Franklin, Tasmania, commenting on the 1977 Womanwaves Event   which received support from the Women’s Film Fund)


During International Women’s Year in 1974, the Whitlam Government allocated funds to be invested in several film projects by and about women. When Germaine Greer failed to use a $100,000 grant to make a television series on human reproduction, the money was redirected - following pressure from women filmmakers - to form the basis of the Australian Film Commission’s Women’s Film Fund, which was formally established in 1976. Despite its relatively small budget, it had a decisive influence on the development of Australian women’s filmmaking, and supported both politically and formally innovative works. The fund was eventually dissolved in the 90s, again stalling the progress towards greater gender diversity in the film industry for which it had paved the way. Join Artist Film Workshop for a selection of experimental shorts funded through this historic program.


Still from  Serious Undertakings  (1983)

Still from Serious Undertakings (1983)


Serious Undertakings (1983). 16mm print. Colour; Sound; 27 minutes. Directed by Helen Grace.

Woman's V/O: She wanted to make a film about childcare.
Man's V/O: I'd rather make a film about the Baader-Meinhof than about childcare.

A mosaic of formal strategies (from video effects to intertitles) and disparate elements (from terrorism to child care) is assembled in an open structure which seeks to establish connections between politics and the production of history, sexual difference and national identity. 


Nice Coloured Girls (1987). 16mm print. Colour; Sound; 17 minutes. Directed by Tracey Moffatt.

Nice Coloured Girls is the first film from visual artist and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt. It focuses on the sexual relations between Aboriginal women and white men, skilfully telling a story of historicity about how sexuality has played a role in the colonisation of Australia that continues into the present. An experimental narrative which departs from realist conventions, the counterpoint of sound, image, and printed text conveys the perspective of Aboriginal women while acknowledging that oppression and enforced silence still shape their consciousness.


A Song of Air (1988). 16mm print. Colour; Sound; 27 minutes. Directed by Merilee Bennett.

A personal diary film examining the relationship between a woman and her father, a methodist minister. Through the use of home movies shot by him in the fifties and sixties, which reinforced his autocratic image of family life, the filmmaker attempts an emotional and intellectual reconciliation. The film travelled extensively on the international festival circuit, including Cannes 1988.

Still from  Nice Coloured Girls  (1987)

Still from Nice Coloured Girls (1987)