VCA releases 50 films for Film and Television’s golden anniversary

Still from Bino
Still from Bino. 2011. Billy Pleffer

Australia’s longest-continuing film school is celebrating its golden anniversary this year and using the milestone to make 50 student films from those 50 years freely available to the public for the first time.

Each week, in the run up to the anniversary party on June 19, the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) will be releasing the films as part of a series of Pursuit articles highlighting films from the collection and the decades in which they were made.

Victorian College of the Arts Head of Film and Television Nicolette Freeman said the project was a celebration of the school’s legacy and its contribution to the Australian screen industry.

“The collection includes award-winning shorts and student films made by graduates who went on to become key creatives on familiar titles such as:  My Brilliant Career [1979], Muriel’s Wedding [1988], Legally Blonde [2001], Look Both Ways [2005], Animal Kingdom [2010], Top of the Lake [2013] and The Dressmaker [2015],” Ms Freeman said.

The selection of student films from each decade since the school’s inception will be available on the University of Melbourne's multi-media platform, Pursuit, which showcases the latest research and opinion from world-leading experts, and thereafter on Film and Television’s dedicated YouTube channel.

“As part of our anniversary celebrations and our commitment to preserving and maintaining a living record of the work produced by the graduates of Australia's longest-continuing film school, VCA is also launching an ongoing Digital Archive project to house these 50 films,” Ms Freeman said.

“Not only do these films showcase the work of creative, emerging Australian artists, they reflect the history of our society and preoccupations. It’s important that we continue to preserve these works so they can continue to be experienced and enjoyed by future generations and budding filmmakers alike.”

Starting its life at the Swinburne Institute of Technology in 1966, Film and Television transferred to its current home at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in 1992.

Film and Television's golden anniversary celebration will be held on Sunday 19 June and will feature guest speaker and alumnus, Oscar-winning director Adam Elliot.