During the 1970s and early 80s, women filmmakers won new opportunities to tell stories which, until then, had gone largely untold.

The films produced as part of the Experimental Film Fund, and by film co-operatives such as the Sydney Women’s Film Group and Reel Women in Melbourne, examined the role of women within society and explored consciousness-raising ideas. Subjects ranged from the role of women in the workforce and at home to social reform and the objectification of the female body by the media.

The live theatre background of many of the women helped infuse their work with a verve that was missing from the more sombre feminist fare offered by their British and American contemporaries. Australian women adopted the collective or cooperative model of film production so they could share creative and technical roles, instead of the hierarchical structure common to other parts of the film industry.

In this collection we see excerpts of documentaries and experimental short films made by influential filmmakers including: Jeni Thornley, Martha Ansara, Margot Nash, Megan McMurchy, Mitzi Goldman, Sarah Gibson, Susan Lambert and Janet Merewether, ranging from the 1970s to the 90s.

Read more about the history of feminist filmmaking in Australia.