A Short History of the SAFC
In 1972, the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) was established under an act of parliament by then Premier Don Dunstan, who sought ways “to stimulate and encourage the formation and continued development of the South Australian film and television industry”.
Establishment of the Corporation (with Gil Brealey appointed founding Chairman/Director) set about achieving this through a blend of commercial enterprise and industry development with the SAFC responsible for:
• undertaking the production of films
• provision of library and other services and facilities relating to films and their screening (South Australian Film and Video Library, c1972-c1994)
• provision of information services about films and their availability
• arrangement of courses of instruction in film projection
• storage, distribution, sale or other disposal of films
• research into the distribution of films and the effectiveness of films to meet purposes for which they are made .
The Corporation originally consisted of three members:
• the Director (who was also the Chairman)
• two other persons appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister, one of whom was nominated by the Minister of Education.
An Advisory Board, consisting of seven members appointed by the Governor, and the Chairman (Director) functioned to inquire into, and report upon, all matters relating to film.
Despite initial distribution difficulties which saw the Corporation resort to hiring cinemas, it found immediate success with films such as Sunday Too Far Away whilst also producing many documentaries, training films and short films.
The Corporation quickly became an important source of prestige and promotion for the State, and became a model for emulation by all Australian states. Other drama productions produced and owned by the SAFC included Storm Boy, Fourth Wish, Fire in the Stone, Dawn, Breaker Morant, Blue Fin, Robbery Under Arms, Under Capricorn, Sara Dane, Money Movers, Run Chrissie Run, Shadows of the Heart, The Shiralee, Golden Fiddles, The Club, Grim Pickings, The Battlers, Playing Beatie Bow (features); Sound of Love, Harvest of Hate (television features); and Ultraman (television series).
In 1994, the SAFC’s role underwent a fundamental shift. It ceased production in its own right and assumed the role of the state government’s central agency to deliver assistance to the independent industry.
At the same time, the Corporation was charged with continuing to run its Hendon Studios operated by the SAFC for more than 30 years from 1980 to 2011. Hendon Studios provided independent feature film and television producers with a high end sound and post production facility as well as basic production facilities, including two soundstages and production areas.
Hundreds of feature films, shorts, documentaries and digital projects have received SAFC investment support since 1994, including award winning titles such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, Shine, Bad Boy Bubby, The Tracker, Rabbit Proof Fence, Black and White, Look Both Ways and Wolf Creek.
More recent SAFC supported feature films include Ten Canoes, The Boys are Back, Swerve, Lucky Country, Last Ride, Samson and Delilah, Oranges and Sunshine, Snowtown, The Last Dragon and the recent box office runaway success Red Dog. Not to mention award winning short films, documentaries and digital projects such as The Cat Piano, The Kiss, ShutUp Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, Life in Movement, The Palace and Danger 5, which have achieved national and international recognition.
In May 2008, the South Australian Government announced the establishment of a new film and screen centre in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, marking a new era for the Corporation. In July 2011 the South Australian Film Corporation relocated from its Hendon premises to this new centre in Glenside, which was named Adelaide Studios.
Adelaide Studios was officially opened by Premier Mike Rann on 20 October 2011 representing significant investment by the SA Government in the future of South Australia’s screen production industry. As the new permanent home of the SAFC, Adelaide Studios includes a heritage administration building which houses SAFC administration along with 26 small to medium sized film businesses including animators, production companies, casting agents, etc.
The heritage administration building sits adjacent to the SAFC’s state-of-the-art production facilities featuring two sound stages (400sqm + 1,000sqm) Dolby Premier Studio, 96-seat screening theatre, foley/audio digital recording (ADR) studio, dry hire edit suites and a variety of production offices to suit all departments including dedicated wardrobe and art department areas.
For more information about Adelaide Studios, including details of facilities for hire, visit www.adelaidestudios.com.au