Arts Flashback

To celebrate Arts Victoria's 40th anniversary we've hit the archives
and uncovered some choice moments in the development of
Victoria's arts sector.

Click on the images below to view the stories and photo galleries, share them with others, and find out how Victoria grew to be the arts and cultural powerhouse it is today.

The Long Weekend (2008) remake of 1978 cult classic film of the same name -  Courtesy of Film Victoria
The Long Weekend (2008) remake of 1978 cult classic film of the same name - Courtesy of Film Victoria


Establishment of Film Victoria

In the mid-1970s the Ministry for the Arts turned its attention to film. A committee was established to report on film making in Victoria, and the role the Government could play in its future development. As a result, in 1976, the Victorian Film Corporation (which later became Film Victoria) was created to encourage and promote the production, exhibition and distribution of films, television programs and other entertainment.


In its first year of operation, the corporation offered $1 million for grants, investments and loans. Funds were committed to films including The Getting of Wisdom, Summerfield, In Search of Anna, Patrick, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Long Weekend, and Mouth to Mouth; and to develop the scripts for My Brilliant Career and Dimboola.

By 1981, when the corporation was renamed Film Victoria, it had also invested in the highly successful mini-series, A Town Like Alice and provided script development funding for The Man from Snowy River. Film Victoria expanded its activities in the 1980s, with support for independent filmmakers, a market research program, pre-production marketing funding and promoting Victoria as a film production base.

In 1997, Film Victoria merged with the State Film Centre to become Cinemedia Corporation, however, following the change of Government in 1999, a new taskforce was established, chaired by actor Sigrid Thornton, to review Victoria's film and television industry.

Among the outcomes of this review were the development of Docklands Studios, and the restructure of Cinemedia as two separate organisations – Film Victoria to provide support and financial assistance for film and television media, and another organisation to manage the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), then being built, at Federation Square.

The Film Act 2001 establishing these two statutory authorities. ACMI opened to the public on 26 October 2002.

Though no longer under the umbrella of the arts portfolio (Film Victoria now sits within the Department of Business Innovation), Film Victoria continues to invest in film and television, as well as digital media projects. It also supports the professional development of screen industry practitioners, and promotes Victoria as a world-class production destination nationally and internationally.

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