This week we did a case study on the co-production treaties! We looked at a few honestly terrible films that had been completely government funded and then we tried to find the cultural aspects of the film that demonstrated the intercultural relationships in the film.
“Screen Australia offers funding and resources to support the development, production and marketing of Australian screen content, as well as for the development of Australian talent and screen production businesses.”
To gain funding from the Australian government to produce a movie, there are a few guidelines you need to follow. Such as employing Australian actors, and ensuring that you’re promoting Australian to international audiences in a positive way.
In class we discussed a few common theme between movies, and none of these really fit the true Australian community. Things on this list included:
- Excessive alcohol and swearing
- Overbearing men and trashy women
- The sand / beach / outback
Through these films there’s no actual demonstration of Australian lifestyle and ideals- aside from maybe the constant inclusion of the beach and man-eating animals (Australia is dangerous!) and a lot of our international image is negative. I think that overall, we really need to step up in terms of our international image and our choice of stereotypes promoted in our film industry.
Personally, when it comes to TV shows, I think we are generally more realistic in terms of our lifestyle in TV. Since these are generally more targeted at Australian audiences, they’re more lowkey in terms of stereotypes and focus more on telling a story, Australian audiences will enjoy. In films, I feel like they’re more geared towards entertaining people who enjoy our stereotypes and are more inclined to ridicule us for it.
A TV show I enjoy is Puberty Blues- my mother enjoyed it too. While the film is still not 100% accurate it does use less of the typical bogan-Australian outback image the film industry promotes.
I also believe that overall we need a better image of how multicultural and amazingly diverse our nation is.
For this weeks reading we were supposed to look into co-production treaties but I feel like it’s more important to analyse the issues within our film community.
In terms of our co-production treaties, they don’t seem to highlight much of our culture either nor particularly combine them very well with another. A lot of these movies still predominantly utilize our Caucasian actors, and amazing beaches. Rarely, are they even filmed in Australia!
We have treaties with over 12 different countries, and after an extensive Google, I still can’t find a movie that seems worthy of watching or that won’t make me cringe. There are so many pages encouraging Australian film makers to work with other counties but if Australia wants to move forwards as a film industry, I think we need to start focusing more on who we really are, and not who the world wants us to be.