Ways of researching film at the State Library Victoria
When using the default search be aware that for many Australian films and the people involved in them there may not be any results (as the amount of books published on Australian cinema is quite small). By checking Australian film reference books you may uncover information about your research within listings about other books, newspapers, and magazines.
For a broader range of resources, instead of the default "Everything but Articles" option, choose "Articles". This will search full text newspapers and magazines. You can then use the "Refine results by" option to narrow to more relevant results.
You may want to limit results by using search filter function and removing the Pictures resource type from the search parameters under 'Refine results by'.
By using the Trove digitised newspaper database you can locate many of the major papers, which are digitised until the mid 1950s (except the daily newspaper The Canberra times held until 1995). Much of the Trove film related newspaper material will be advertisements, as well as the occasional film review and production report.
For more details on searching Australian Newspapers check the State Library Victoria Newspaper Research Guide.
State Library Victoria holds many unique objects and files relating to film in Australia. Some of these items include:
Without government funding the Australian film industry would be a shell of what it is today.
For Australian documentary, government funding goes back to the 1940s. From the 1970s, the Australian Federal Government has provided substantial funding for Australian feature films, shorts, and experimental and art cinema and television.
The major government funding and development body is Screen Australia (founded in 2008). This body handles film and documentary development, production funding.
They publish The screen guide, a database of production details about Australian film and documentary (from 1970 onwards).
Screen Australia has plenty of information and data on Australian film/tv on their site including box office, budget statistics, ratings etc. For this information search the Fact finders section of the website.
The State Library Victoria has a number of items published by Screen Australia.
Before Screen Australia, film development was handled by the Australian film commission (1975-2008), production funding by the Film finance corporation of Australia (1988-2008) (aka Australian film finance corporation), and documentary development and production funding was through Film Australia (1973-2008) (previously the Australian national film board and the Australian Commonwealth film unit).
State level funding and administration bodies fulfill a very important function for all levels of filmmakers.
Victoria's development and funding body is called Film Victoria. The other state and territory film development bodies are:
A number of reports by these bodies are held at the State Library Victoria and other institutions.
As of June 15 2020 the Library is open with reduced spaces and services.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.