Canberra is never thought of as the film capital of Australia, but one film from the 1970s put the city front and centre, and played an important role in highlighting the need for a viable commercial Australian film industry.
David Brice, CTC 7’s newsreader, optioned a book by Curtin residents Elizabeth and Don Campbell. The Demonstrator is a political drama about an Australian Defence Minister’s plans of forming military alliances at an Asian security conference being disrupted by demonstrations organised by his idealistic son.
This clip shows the rehearsal and shooting of scenes from Demonstrator (1971). Outside the City Police Station on London Circuit, Steven Slater (played by Gerard Maguire) follows his angry mother Marion (played by Irene Inescort) into her car having been bailed out after his arrest during a demonstration at the Canberra Theatre Centre. The other scene shows Slater arriving at (Old) Parliament House in a vintage car with a couple of the demonstrations’ organisers.