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SAFC celebrates 50th anniversary with gala reception

27 October 2022
SAFC CEO Kate Croser, SA Premier Peter Malinauskas, Filmmaker Warwick Thornton, Actor and Producer Cate Blanchett, Arts Minister Andrea Michaels, SAFC Board Chair Julie Cooper. Photos by Aise Dillon.

Established in 1972, the South Australian Film Corporation commemorates its 50th anniversary this year as Australia’s longest running state screen agency. On Friday 21 October the SAFC kicked off its anniversary celebrations in style with a reception at Adelaide Studios with guests of honour Cate Blanchett and Warwick Thornton.

In South Australia to shoot their new SAFC supported feature film The New Boy, Blanchett – who stars and is producing – and director Thornton attended the intimate function alongside South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas, Arts Minister Andrea Michaels, Department of Industry, Innovation and Skills CEO Adam Reid, SAFC Chair Julie Cooper and Board Members Tony Ayres, Miriam Silva, Bec Summerton and Austin Taylor, SAFC CEO Kate Croser, and Adelaide Film Festival Chair Anton Andreacchio.

Among the distinguished screen industry guests were writers, directors, producers and actors from around Australia who have worked closely with the SAFC over the past 50 years, including legendary South Australian filmmaking duo Scott Hicks and Kerry Heysen AM; Animals and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande director Sophie Hyde; The Tracker, Ten Canoes and Bad Boy Bubby director Rolf de Heer; My Name is Gulpilil director and producer Molly Reynolds; First Day producer Kate Butler of KOJO Studios; Black and White and Carnifex producer Helen Leake AM; Stateless and Firebite producer Paul Ranford; The Babadook and Lucky Country producer Kristian Moliere; producer of Academy Award winning Spotlight Peter Lawson; The Tourist producer Lisa Scott of Highview Productions; Rabbit Proof Fence and Storm Boy actor Trevor Jamieson; Firebite actor Shantae Barnes Cowan; writer Andrew Bovell; Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey of Bunya Productions, as well as many South Australian practitioners with productions featured on the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival program including The Angels: Kickin’ Down the Door producer Rick Davies; Monolith director Matt Vesely; The Survival of Kindness producer Julie Byrne; The Last Daughter director Nathaniel Schmidt and producers Simon Williams and Brendon Skinner; Carnifex director Sean Lahiff; Embrace: Kids director Taryn Brumfitt; Thin Ice VR director James Calvert and executive producers Troy Bellchambers and Rhys Sandery of Monkeystack; Wave producer Mark Patterson and many others.

Also in attendance were South Australian PDV studio heads Alexandra Daunt Watney of MPC and Lincoln Wogan of Resin; Sunjive Studios director and film producer Daniel J Phillips; and games industry leaders Dineth Abeynayake of Foxie Games and Ben Marsh of ODD Games, as well as SAFC First Nations Advisory Committee member Shouwn Oosting; SAFC First Nations Screen Strategy Executive Pauline Clague and SAFC Disability Screen Strategy Executive Gaelle Mellis.

Guests enjoyed a Welcome to Country from Uncle Frank Wanganeen, followed by speeches from Ms Cooper and Premier Malinauskas, who praised former Premier Don Dunstan for his vision in establishing the SAFC through an Act of Parliament in 1972.

“Without Dunstan’s vision and advocacy, without the brave effort of his government, the last 50 years of Australian culture would’ve looked very different, even more American, even more European. The story of our Australian identity would be smaller, it’d be colder, it’d be weaker, inferior, maybe even more irrelevant,” Premier Malinauskas said.

“The South Australian Film Corporation didn’t just show that South Australian stories were worth telling. It showed that Australian stories were worthy and important and valuable. It inspired other states to follow suit with similar organisations. It inspired the Federal government to do the same. It created a pathway for generations of actors, of writers, of directors, of technicians in a thousand different specialised fields and small businesses.

“It created entire new local industries and made South Australia a truly world-class hub of activity, but also technical excellence. And by valuing our stories, it showed that we valued our culture. It showed that we valued ourselves. It showed that we valued our state and our nation. It showed that we valued the diversity of our people. It showed that we recognised and celebrated our sense of humour, our loves, our fears. We sent a message to the world that we are here, we’ve got stories to tell, and my word, they’re worth paying attention to.

“So we celebrate a South Australian institution, which has become an Australian icon, and its 50 years in the desperate hope and the absolute confidence that the next 50 years will be just as profound and just as proud.”

Premier Malinauskas also officially launched the SAFC’s 50th Anniversary showreel, highlighting a half century of South Australian screen industry achievement – from film and television series to documentary, PDV and visual effects, games and more. Watch it below!

Showreel by Passel Media.

Earlier in the evening, Blanchett praised the SAFC and the SA screen industry on the red carpet at the Adelaide Film Festival.

“It’s the third time I’ve filmed here in Adelaide, and the South Australian Film Corporation has been so extraordinary in their support of filmmaking, and a lot of people want to come and shoot here because of it – the locations are extraordinary, the facilities are extraordinary – and not just Australian filmmakers but internationally,” she told Channel Nine news.

“I applaud the SA Film Corporation,” she told The Advertiser.

“They have been extraordinary partners with filmmakers, not only in Australia but internationally. And the locations – you can’t find them anywhere else in the world. I think that’s why people are coming here and will continue to come here.”

The SAFC is proud to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2022 – a historic milestone representing half a century of supporting South Australian stories, skills and talent in and on screen; growing, championing and promoting industry; exporting South Australian stories, perspectives and landscapes to the world, and facilitating South Australian practitioners and businesses to create quality content for screens of all types and sizes, for audiences all over the globe.

The agency will continue its Golden Anniversary commemorations next month with a wider industry celebration – stay tuned!

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