Aussie enclave rules
underdog status helps, not hinders, the country’s filmmakers, Jack Thompson (right) says. The star of AFL film a guest at the Byron Bay Film Festival last weekend, says the small size of the local industry encourages Australian filmmakers to punch above their weight to get to Hollywood. ‘‘It has to do with being this little enclave of other people at the end of the world,’’ he says. ‘‘Here’s your fiddle – play your way out of the ghetto, kid!’’ Thompson says local filmmakers have little choice but to go where the work is but adds mass migration doesn’t necessarily disadvantage homemade productions. ‘‘Those people come back here and make films in this country with budgets we could never afford.’’ Thompson’s next bigscreen outing will be in Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
director Richard Gray says making movies locally is harder because the national audience prefer Australian television to film. ‘‘It’s incredibly hard,’’ he says. ‘‘There’s a hell of a lot of television but to have people watch something Aussie at the cinema is still really special.’’