This dossier (the first of a projected series) on contemporary Australian filmmakers focuses on currently active directors who started making audiovisual work in the 1990s or 2000s. Although a number of these filmmakers have been written about in a piecemeal fashion, this discussion has mostly been in relation to individual films rather than their body of work across Australian and international cinema, fiction and documentary, cinema and television. Their work has also, generally, been much less discussed than the groups of filmmakers who emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. This dossier shines a light on a generation of Australian filmmakers who move fluidly between feature filmmaking, shorts, documentary, prestige TV dramas and more episodic TV series (where, for example a director may work predominantly overseas and mostly in television), and whose work often questions the whole premise of national cinema. These are also filmmakers who move between the roles of director, writer, producer, commissioning editor, policy advisor, and even actor. This dossier also examines a range of filmmakers who have either remained within Australia and forged a career across a variety of platforms or have embraced the global and transnational nature of contemporary cinema. It includes illuminating essays on such staunchly Australian-based filmmakers as Ana Kokkinos and Robert Connolly, and groundbreaking accounts of the less clearly located work of Gregor Jordan and the hugely productive and truly international James Wan. The dossier opens with Felicity Collins’ evocative, wonderfully detailed and astute analysis of the career of one of Australia’s most important, committed and tireless filmmakers: Rachel Perkins.
– Adrian Danks
Rachel Perkins by Felicity Collins
Ana Kokkinos by Lisa French
Robert Connolly by Matthew Campora
Gregor Jordan by Greg Dolgopolov
James Wan by Tyson Wils