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The Screen Guide

In Australia in the mid sixties an ‘underground’, 'experimental' cinema emerged; artists and filmmakers organised filmmakers’ cooperatives - the main ones being in Sydney and Melbourne. They were venues supporting self-managed distribution and exhibition. The story of the rise and fall of the co-ops is a story of creative commitment, cultural activism and engagement with oppositional social movements. The ‘spirit of ‘68’ in Australia, land rights, ‘identity politics' feminism, gay and lesbian liberation, community based participatory democracy, the labour movement, and commitment to social change all played their part in a lively, complex and contested environment of independent film and video. Many of Australia’s most celebrated filmmakers began their creative lives in the Sydney & Melbourne Filmmakers Co-ops.

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Tom Zubrycki  John Hughes
John Hughes
Tom Zubrycki  John Hughes

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