This article is part of Greenlight — The Latch’s commitment to the Australian film industry. For more content in this series, click here.
In 1906, Australia produced the world’s first feature-length film. The Story of the Kelly Gang was made on a budget of just £1,000, but recouped around £25,000 at the box office, making it a bonafide hit with audiences in not only Australia but New Zealand and the UK.
Our country’s love affair with, and success in, the film industry has been going strong ever since.
For well over 100 years now, movies have been an invaluable source of entertainment and escapism for Aussies. In fact, during World War II, the number of cinema admissions in the country rose from less than 102 million to 151 million as people flocked to the movies for some respite from the grim realities of the news cycle.
Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the widespread cinema closures that resulted from it, Australians still found solace in movie theatres when they could, generating a 2020 box office haul of $401 million.
So, we know we love to go to the movies, but Australia also loves to make them.
And we are good at it, too.
After all, we are natural storytellers with a wealth of experiences to share and we want to show the world who we are and what we can do. Our film crews are widely regarded as some of the best and most professional and our variety of terrains provide a stunning and more cost-effective alternative option for those looking to bring even the most fantastical worlds to life.
There’s a good reason why big-budget pictures such as Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Thor: Love and Thunder have all been filmed here in the past few years and why Marvel Studios has chosen Sydney as its home base for the next five.
This signals promising news for an industry that already creates more than 20,000 jobs per year, exports to more than 200 international markets and generates annual revenue of more than $1 billion.
With the Australian film industry only set to grow over the coming years, and with the importance of diverse storytelling more recognised than ever, we felt it was the perfect time to launch Greenlight — an initiative that supports, recognises and celebrates the achievements of Aussie film and amplifies the profiles of the people who keep its heart beating.
Greenlight will see The Latch make a commitment to ensure that at least 20% of our entertainment content is locally-focused and we are so excited to keep our readers up to date with exciting new projects to be filmed in our country and the ongoing success of Australian produced content in the overseas market. And, of course, we’ll remain committed to keeping you up to date with the Aussie performers you already know and love, while introducing you to the ones you should be watching out for.
Over the coming months, I look forward to sharing this content with you and I sincerely hope it brings you as much joy as our remarkable contributions to cinema bring the world.
It is also my hope that sharing the achievements, milestones, developments and retrospectives from our film industry will not only elicit pride in what our country can do, but serve as a reminder of how important it is that our stories continue to be told.