Australian Cinema > types > docos

Documentary Films

Some Australasian documentary films

10 Conditions of Love, The (Jeff Daniels, 2009) doco about Rebiya Kadeer, Uyghur leader

4 (Tim Slade, 2007) musical documentary; Australian release September 2007 (one screen only)

ABBA: The Movie (Lasse Hallstrom, 1978)

ABC of Love and Sex Australian Style (John D. Lamond, 1978) pseudo-doco

After Mabo (Richard Frankland) documentary

Aim High in Creation! (Anna Broinowski, 2014) doco; Kim Jong-Il

All that is Solid (John Hughes, 1988) documentary

All the Way through the Evening (Rohan Spong, 2013) NY woman remembers dead musician friends; 70 min.

All this Mayhem (Eddie Martin, 2013) story of Tas and Ben Pappas, skateboarders, premiere Adelaide FF October 2013, Aust release 10 July 2014; nommed best feature doco AACTAs 2014

Always Was Always Will Be (Martha Ansara & Robert Bropho, 1989) Swan Brewery protest

Another Country (Rolf de Heer, 2015) David Gulpilil

Archive Project, The (John Hughes, 2006) 'hidden history' of Melbourne's Realist film movement (1945-1959)

As It Happened: New Norcia (2000) broadcast on SBS Saturday 3 June 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation, documenting the suffering of young Aborigines at a West Australian mission, reconstructed from the memories of those who "took refuge in, and were tormented by" this particular institution

As It Happened: Stolen Generations (Darlene Johnson, 2000) broadcast on SBS Saturday 27 May 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation

Aussie Rules (Barbara Chobocky, 1993)

Australia Live (Peter Faiman, 1988)

Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard (Richard Lowenstein, 2011) doco

Back of Beyond, The (John Heyer, 1954) documentary, 66 min.; cf. The Inlanders (1949); mailman Tom Kruse drives his truck through the sand from Maree to Birdsville

Bali Hash (John Darling, 1989)

Bali Triptych (John Darling, 1987)

Below the Wind (John Darling, 1994)

Between a Rock and a Hard Place (ABC) the making of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Big Name No Blanket (Steven McGregor, 2013) doco on the frontman of the Warumpi Band; 57 min.

Bigger than Texas: The Ghosts that Never Die (David Noakes, 1992) documentary

Bingo, Bridesmaids and Braces (Gillian Armstrong, 1988)

Birth of New Zealand, The (Harrington Reynolds, 1922) dp Frank Stewart; Stella Southern, Norman French, Harrington Reynolds; dramatised doco of NZ history from 'the landing of Captain Cook to the Present Day'; 8000ft, 154ft only remain; NZ

Bitter Herbs and Honey (Monique Schwarz, 1996) doco about Jews in Carlton

Black Chicks Talking (Leah Purcell) Deborah Mailman, Kathryn Hay, Rosanna Angus, Tammy Williams, Cilla Mallone. "... even if there's nothing revolutionary in it, the presents the issues through people, and with great sensitivity. The honesty is balanced with fun, but the darker edginess is what makes it compelling." Andrew Urban

Black Harvest (Robin Anderson & Bob Connolly, 1992) doco; third in their PNG series

Bomb Harvest (Kim Mordaunt, 2007)

Boot Cake, The (Kathryn Millard, 2008) Charlie Chaplin is a saint to earthquake survivors in a small desert town in India and they are throwing him a birthday party

Bra Boys (Sunny Abberton, 2007) wr. Sunny Abberton, Craig Beattie; documentary

Bridewealth for a Goddess (Chris Owen, 2000) record of a ritual that took years to prepare; PNG

Brother Can You Spare a Dime? (Philippe Mora, 1975)

Butler, The (Anna Kannava, 1997) 58 min.

Camera Natura (Ross Gibson, 1984) dp Ray Argall

Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (Mark Lewis, 1987) documentary

Cane Toads: The Conquest (Mark Lewis, 2010) documentary

Cannibal Tours (Dennis O'Rourke, 1988) documentary

Caring Crocodile, The (Giorgio Mangiamele, 1981) wr. Giorgio Mangiamele; 35mm, colour, 13 min.; about the development of crocodile farms for a future industry in crocodile skin

Castor and Pollux (Phillip Noyce, 1973) biker called Gus and hippie called Adrian [Rawlins]

Carlton + Godard = Cinema (Nigel Buesst, 2003) 145 min.

Castor and Pollux (Phillip Noyce, 1973) documentary: biker called Gus and hippie called Adrian [Rawlins]

Celso and Cora: A Manila Story (Gary Kildea 1983)

Change of Face, A (Franco di Chiera, 1988)

Changing the Needle (Martha Ansara, Mavis Robertson, Dasha Ross, 1982) Vietnam's unique approach to drug rehabilitation; 53 min.

Chasing Asylum (Eva Orner, 2016) asylum seekers

Chile: hasta Cuando? (David Bradbury, 1985)

Cinesound Review: Kokoda Front Line (Damien Parer, 1942) dp and commentary Damien Parer; shared 1942 Academy Award for Short with John Ford's Battle of Midway; Parer shot the footage for the Dept of Information, which let Cinesound use it (Shirley & Adams: 166) Parer was killed at work on Peleliu, Caroline Is, 1944

City of Dreams (Belinda Mason, 2000) documentary, wr. Gaby Mason/Belinda Mason, prod. Gaby Mason, Mark Hamlyn Production Company: Film Australia National Interest Program; 50-minute documentary on the remarkable personal and professional marriage of American architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, their revolutionary design for Canberra and the impact they had on Australian culture

Colourful Life, A (Gillian Armstrong, in post 2005) design pioneer Florence Broadhurst; this became Unfolding Florence

Coniston (David Batty, Francis Jupurrula Kelly, 2012) TV doco; David Field, Elijah Japanangka Jones, Fiona Nungarrayi Kitson; 55 min.

Confessions of a Headhunter (Sally Riley, 2000) broadcast on SBS Saturday 3 June 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation; unusual tale of the different meanings myths and symbols hold for black and white Australians; Kelton Pell is the support for the white actor playing a man who discovers he is Nyoongar and beheads public statues as revenge for the beheading of the statue of Yagan in Perth, WA

Coniston Muster: Scenes from a Stockman's Life (Roger Sandall, 1972) doco; Coniston Johnny; 31 min.

Coolbaroo Club, The (Roger Scholes, 1996) wr. co-prod. Steve Kinnane, prod. Penny Robbins; award-winning on post-war race relations in Australia: in Perth, WA, 1946-1960, the Coolbaroo Club was a meeting place and a community focus for the local Aboriginal community; 55 min.

Country Lads (Stanhope Andrews, 1941) NZ;

Cry from the Heart (2000) broadcast on SBS Friday 26 May 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation; child taken from his mother grows up angry, violent and despairing, yet succeeds in his struggle to come to terms with his traumatic life

Crystal Voyager (David Elfick, 1973) Albert Falzon, camera operator; surfing

Cunnamulla (Dennis O'Rourke, 2001)

Dagg Sea Scrolls, The (John Clarke, 2006) wr. John Clarke; John Clarke; TV doco; NZ; 46 min.

Dangerfreaks (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1989) Grant Page; concerned with stunts

David Stratton: A Cinematic Life (Sally Aitken, 2017)

Darkside, The (Warwick Thornton, 2013) Adelaide FF premiere October

Death of the Megabeasts (Franco di Chiera, 2009)

Desert Rats (Steve Westh, 2012) Electric Pictures; teledocudrama: North Africa, WW2; 2 x 60 min.

Dhakiyarr vs The King (Tom Murray & Alan Collins, 2004) Sydney Film Festival 2004; Sundance Jan 2005

Darkside, The (Warwick Thornton, 2013) Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens; Adelaide FF premiere October 2013; doco; 94 min.

Diplomat, The (Tom Zubrycki, 2000) doco about Jose Ramos Horta; 56 min. and also feature version 81 min.

Don't Call me Girlie (Andree Wright & Stewart Young, 1985) contribution made by women to the Australian film industry; 68 min.

Ecce Homo (Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn, 2015) biopic of Peter Vanessa "Troy" Davies

Exile and the Kingdom (Frank Rijavek, 1994) Roebourne WA area

Facing the Music (Bob Connolly & Robin Anderson, 2001) Robin Anderson's last film

Fall of the House, The (Geoff Burton, 2004) Sydney FF 2004; story about Eugene Goossens and attempted importation of pornographic material

Federation Films (Chris Long, 1992) compilation of films from 1896-c.1907

Fifth Facade: The Making of the Sydney Opera House (Donald Crombie, 1974) prod. Anthony Buckley, dp Bruce Hillyard, ed. Richard Hndley; doco about the Sydney Opera House, including its opening; Jorn Utzon, Sam Wanamaker; 28 min.

Fighting Fear (Macario De Souza, 2011) doco about surfing

Film for Discussion (Sydney Women's Film Group, 1974) documentary, 24 min.

Fine Body of Gentlemen, A (Geoff Burton, 2002) story of the first Aboriginal touring cricket team

Finished People, The (Khoa Do, 2003) mock documentary; homeless in Cabramatta; brief review of DVD release: Richard Luck, Empire, 42, September 2004: 102

First Contact (Robin Anderson & Bob Connolly, 1982) first of a series of three docos made in PNG

First Fagin, The (Helen Gaynor, Alan Rosenthal, 2012) doco

First Year (Barbara Chobocky, 1980) prod. Barbara Chobocky; Tresillian child development series, A.F.I. Distribution; "The baby in arms" shows three families with babies at three, seven and eleven months, highlights the father's role and shows the importance of his relationship to the baby in the first year; 18 min.

For Love or Money (Megan McMurchy, Margot Nash, Margot Oliver, Jeni Thornley, 1983)

Forbidden Lie$ (Anna Broinowski, 2007) about conwoman Norma Khouri, Adelaide Festival 2007

Forgotten Cinema: The Golden Age of Australian Motion Pictures (Anthony Buckley, 1967) compilation doco; Phil Haldeman (narrator), Elsa Chauvel, Bert Cross, Ken G. Hall; 56 min.

Forgotten Silver (Peter Jackson, Costa Botes, 1995) mockumentary about filmmaker Colin McKenzie; NZ

Fourteen's Good, 18's Better (Gillian Armstrong, 1981)

From the Tropics to the Snow (Richard Mason & Jack Lee, 1964) dp Keith Gow; parody doco

Frontline (David Bradbury, 1980) war cameraman Neil Davis and his work in Vietnam and Cambodia: he photographed the girl who had been bombed with napalm, and the VC tank crashing through the gate of the Presidential Palace in Hanoi

Funny by George: The George Wallace Story (Don Percy, 1999) with appearances by George Wallace, Bill Kerr (also narrator), Patti Allan, et al. 56 min.

Genocide (Richard Oxenburgh, 1990)

Girls Can't Surf (Christopher Nelius, tba) wr. Christopher Nelius & Julie-Anne De Ruvo; 1980s surfing

Glass: Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (Scott Hicks, 2007)

Gnow or Never (Franco di Chiera, Carmelo Musca, 2009) doco; WA

God Knows Why But It Works (Phillip Noyce, 1975) dp Andy Fraser; documentary-drama about Dr Archie Kalokerinos, who pioneered Vitamin C therapy; Henri Szeps; Sydney Film Festival 1976

Going Vertical: The Shortboard Revolution (David Bradbury, 2010) surfing; Cannes

Good Afternoon (Phillip Noyce, 1972) documentary of the Combined Universities' Art Festival Canberra 1971, made for the AUS Aquarius Foundation

Good Woman of Bangkok, The (Dennis O'Rourke, 1992) documentary-fiction; review by Greg Kerr in Murray 1995: 341; from the review by Greg Kerr, Cinema Papers, 86, January 1992: 52-53

Goodbye Old Man (David MacDougall, 1977) pukumani (bereavement) ceremony for Tiwi man on Melville Island

Gulpilil: One Red Blood (Darlene Johnson, 2002)

Half Life (Dennis O'Rourke, 1982) soon after dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American military began looking for an 'appropriate' place to test its nuclear weapons; they chose the Marshall Islands; doco

Harry's War (Richard Frankland) documentary-drama about the war experience of Frankland's Uncle Harry; short; 35 min. Crossing Tracks 'compilation'

Healing of Bali, The (John Darling, 2003) documentary broadcast on The Cutting Edge, SBS, Tuesday 7 October 2003

Healing Sound of the Bungarun Orchestra (ABC, 1999) Message Stick program about an orchestra at a leprosarium in Derby; 27 min.

Helen's War (Anna Broinowski, 2004) documentary, convinced that the War on Terror is escalating the global nuclear arms race, firebrand anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott embarks on an explosive, funny, fearless crusade through post-911 USA, tracked by her niece Anna Broinowski, in this documentary which screens on SBS on Thursday 1 July 2004 and at the Valhalla Cinema in Glebe until the end of June 2004

History of Australian Cinema 1896 to 1940 (Alan Anderson, Joan Long, Keith Gow, 1964, 1971, 1979) prod. Anthony Buckley; 1896-1920 The pictures that moved; 1920-1930 The passionate industry; 1930-1940 Now you're talking

House of Dreams (Yves Stening, in production) prod. Martin Brown, dop Russell Boyd, composer Richard Tognetti; big-budget hybrid drama/documentary feature; SBS Independent senior commissioning editor - documentary Ned Lander described House of Dreams as a "documentary / poem / feature that is absolutely pushing the form into a new area"; apparently not made

I Am Eleven (Genevieve Bailey, 2011) doco about 11-yr-olds in 15 countries, one of which is Australia

I Told You I Was Ill (Cathy Henkel, 2005) premiere SAFF; on Spike Milligan

Ileksen (Dennis O'Rourke, 1978) PNG

I'll Be Home for Christmas (Brian McKenzie, 1984)

Illustrated Auschwitz (Jackie Farkas, 1992)

I'm Not Dead Yet (Janine Hosking, 2011) doco about Chad Morgan

In the Wake of the Bounty (Charles Chauvel, 1933) dramatised documentary, Errol Flynn as Bligh; filmed Tahiti and Pitcairn

In this Life's Body (Corinne Cantrill, 1984)

Indonesia Calling (Joris Ivens, 1946)

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia (John Hughes, 2009) doco; 90'

Inheritance: A Fisherman's Story (Peter Hegedus); Balazs Mesaros travels to Perth to confront mining company which has created ecological disaster in Rumania

Inlanders, The (John Kingsford Smith, 1949); Aust Inland Mission; cf. The Back of Beyond (1954)

Island of Lies (Gillian Coote, 1990)

Ister, The: journey up the Danube while examining Martin Heidegger

Jabe Babe: A Heightened Life (Janet Merewether, 2005) IF Award for Best 2005

Jandamarra's War (Mitch Torres, 2011) dramatised documentary, 55 min.

Joe Leahy's Neighbours (Bob Connolly & Robin Anderson, 1988) second of a series of three docos made in PNG

Joh's Jury (Ken Cameron, 1993) documentary

Journey to the End of Night (Peter Tammer, 1982) dramatised documentary portrait of Bill Neave, a survivor of the fall of Rabaul, PNG, in 1942; 72 min.

Journey with Paul Cox, A (Gerrit Messiaen, Rob Visser, 1996), broadcast SBS

Joys of the Women (Franco di Chiera, 1993) WA; about the choir founded in Fremantle by Kavisha Mazzella, Le Gioie delle Donne

Just a Little Note (Jan Chapman, 1970) prod. Jan Chapman, dp Phil Noyce, ed. Phil Noyce; moratorium march and George Shevtsov's guerrilla theatre group

Kabbarli (Andrew G. Taylor, 2002) wr. Andrew G. Taylor; docu-drama about Daisy Bates

Killing Priscilla (Lizzy Gardiner, 1999) Stephan Elliott's career after Priscilla; 55 min.

Ladies Please (1994) on the Priscilla DVD: drag queens; c. 30 min.

Ladies Rooms (Sarah Gibson, Pat Fiske, Susan Lambert, Jan MacKay, 1977)

Lake Mungo (Joel Anderson, 2009) wr. Joel Anderson; shot in Ararat; teenager drowns inexplicably in country weir; in documentary style

Land of the Little Kings (2000) documentary, broadcast SBS Sunday 28 May 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation; Archie Roach travels Australia to share tales of survival by members of the stolen generations in this feature-length documentary

Landmines (Dennis O'Rourke, 2005) documentary, premiere SAFF

Landslides (Susan Lambert, Sarah Gibson, 1986) documentary, experimental

Last Daughter, The (Brenda Matthews, Nathaniel Schmidt, 2022) Brenda's first memories were of growing up in a loving white foster family, before she was suddenly taken away and returned to her Aboriginal family. Decades later, she feels disconnected from both halves of her life. But the traumas of her past do not lie quietly buried. So, she goes searching for the foster family with whom she had lost all contact. Along the way she uncovers long-buried secrets, government lies, and the possibility for deeper connections to family and culture. The Last Daughter is a documentary about Brenda's mission to unearth the truth about her past, and to reconcile the two sides of her family.—Official Synopsis

Last Days Work (Brian McKenzie, 1987)

Last Impresario, The (Gracie Otto, 2014) prod. Nicole O'Donohue; Michael White biopic; nommed best feature doco AACTAs 2014

Last Mail from Birdsville (Roger Clarke, 2001) the story of Tom Kruse, of The Back of Beyond; 55 min.

Last Man Hanged (Lewis Fitz-Gerald, 1992) dramatised doco; Colin Friels, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Angie Milliken, John Clayton; hanging of Ronald Ryan in 1967; 60 min.

Last Tasmanian, The (Tom Haydon, 1978) doco; at the time this documentary (narrated by Leo McKern) was made, it was thought that Truganini (died 1876) was the last surviving Tasmanian Aboriginal; cf. a fictional treatment of the Black Drive of the 1830s in Manganinnie; 105 min.

Learning the Ropes (Barbara Chobocky, 1993)

Lempad of Bali (John Darling, 1980)

Letters to Ali (Clara Law & Eddie Fong, 2004) documentary; premiere Melbourne June 2004; Toronto Sept 2004; Venice Sept 2004; brief review: Richard Luck, Empire, 43, October 2004: 24; brief review of DVD release: Annie Sebel, Empire, 45, December 2004: 96

Life in Movement (Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason, 2011) doco about Sydney Dance Co, Tanja Liedtke

Light Years (Kathryn Millard, 1991) short doco on Australian photographer Olive Cotton; narr. Gillian Jones; 47 min.

Link Up Diary (David McDougall, 1987) lost generation

Living Forever (Brian Douglas, 1986) documentary?

Living Museum, The (Giorgio Mangiamele, 1980) wr. dp Giorgio Mangiamele; 35mm, colour, 34 min.; the Port Moresby museum

Living Room (David Caesar) short, made 1987 (DC made Shopping Town at film school the year before) DC mentions the work of Richard Everden and his photography of indigenous people at end 19C; ppl and how they live in various places in Sydney; c. 19 min.

Liyarn Ngarn (Martin Mhando, 2007) Pete Postlethwaite, Patrick Dodson, Bill Johnson, Archie Roach

Lousy Little Sixpence (Gerald Bostock, Alec Morgan, 1983) Geraldine Briggs, Flo Caldwell, Bill Reid, Violet Shaw, Margaret Tucker; docudrama about Aboriginals forced to be servants; 54 min.

Love Epidemic, The (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1975) wr. prod. Brian Trenchard-Smith, Hexagon Productions; dp Russell Boyd, ass. Ross Blake, Stuart Fist, Greg Hunter; John Ewart, Michael Laurence, Grant Page, Ros Spiers, Roger Ward; Melbourne and Sydney, colour 35 mm from 16 mm, 83 min., semi-documentary

Love Lust and Lies (Gillian Armstrong, 2010)

Mabo: Life of an Island Man (Trevor Graham, 1997) documentary, broadcast TV, 87 min.

Make Hummus Not War (Trevor Graham, 2012) doco

Making Venus (Gary Doust, 2002) doco, 70 min.

Man of Straw (Alkinos Tsilimidos) documentary, week in the life of compulsive gambler, 28 min.

Maria (Barbara Chobocky, 1991)

Men Who Would Conquer China, The (Mary Jane St Vincent Welch, 2004) doco

Mike and Stefani (Ron Maslyn Williams, 1952) dramatised documentary about Ukrainian refugees; 64 min.

Milli Milli (Wayne Barker, 1994) Aboriginal people in the Kimberley; 53 min.

Modern Times (Graeme Chase, 1992)

Molly and Mobarak (Tom Zubrycki, 2003) Mobarak is a refugee, and Molly and her mother befriend him

Mongolian Bling (Benj Binks, 2012) hip hop is making Mongolia move in the 21st century; jump into the thriving music scene in Ulaanbaatar and follows stars as they rap nationwide

Morning of the Earth (Albert Falzon, 1972)

Mortgage (Bill Bennett, 1989) telemovie; Brian Vriends, Doris Younane, Bruce Venables, Andrew S. Gilbert, Paul Coolahan, Bob Ellis; doco-like drama

Motherland (Kriv Stenders, 1994) doco; 50 min.; story of two Latvian grandmothers who have lived in Australia since the end of WW2 and who have become close friends since arriving in Australia, because they are Kriv Stenders' two grandmothers

Mourning for Mangatopi: A Tiwi Bereavement Ceremony (Curtis Levy, 1975)

Mrs Carey's Concert (Bob Connolly & Sophie Raymond, 2011)

Murandak: Songs of Freedom (Natasha Gadd, Rhys Graham, 2011) The Black Arm Band; music doco

My America (Peter Hegedus, 2011) wr. Peter Hegedus, Jane Jeffes, Trish Lake, Mark O'Toole; doco

My Blessings (Bill Mousoulis, 1997) six days in the life of independent filmmaker Jane Friedman; 78 min.

My Life without Steve (Gillian Leahy, 1986) diary film; 53 min.

My Mother My Son (2000) broadcast on SBS Saturday 27 May 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation; young woman's journey attempting to visit her child in foster care

My Name is Gulpilil (Molly Reynolds, 2021) documentary, biopic

My Own Private Oz (Philip Brooks, 2000) documentary (re Monkey Grip)

My Survival as an Aboriginal (Essie Coffey, 1979) documentary; 49 min.

Naked on the Inside (Kim Farrant, 2007) documentary

Namitjira the Painter (Lee Robinson, 1946) documentary

Nation is Built, A (Frank Hurley, 1938) dramatised documentary to celebrate sesquicentenary of white settlement

Natural History of the Chicken, The (Mark Lewis, 2000) documentary; NOT Australian, tho Lewis is

Nazi Supergrass (David Bradbury, 1993) documentary

Nicaragua no Pasaran (David Bradbury, 1984) documentary

Nice Coloured Girls (Tracey Moffatt, 1987) wr. prod. Tracey Moffatt; Women's Film Fund, Australian Film Commission; 17 min.

Night (Lawrence Johnston, 2007) feature-length documentary

Nights Belongs to the Novelist, The (Christina Wilcox, 1987) doco; 48 min.

No Milk, No Honey (1997) documentary; British group-settlers; WA

Not Fourteen Again (Gillian Armstrong, 1996) doco

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild Untold Story of Ozploitation! (Mark Hartley, 2008) doco

Number One Fan: Laurie Nichols (Jolyon Hoff, 2007) 13 min.

Off the Edge (Michael Firth, 1977) NZ doco

On Borrowed Time (David Bradbury, 2011) doco about Paul Cox waiting for a liver transplant

Once My Mother (Sophia Turkiewicz, 2014) doco

One Australia? The Future Starts Here (Christine Sammers, 1991) documentary

One Hundred Crowded Years (H. H. Bridgman, 1940) dramatised documentary? including Treaty of Waitangi, 1840; NZ

One Way Street (John Hughes, 1993) documentary

Ordinary People (Jennifer Rutherford, 2002) prod. Martha Ansara; One Nation candidate Colene Hughes; 55 min.

Original Schtick (Maciek Wszelaki, 1999) Robert Fischer; doco about con artist, shot on video

Outback Strippers (Mike Piper Production Company: Piper Films) Mind's Eye, Network Ten; in production 2000; broadcast Ch10 12 June 2004; sequel to Suburban Strippers: a group of strippers from the city has heard that Alice Springs' only stripper is about to retire and they decide to take the outback by storm

Outback Truckers (2012) Prospero Productions

Outback Upfront: compilation of short films from the ABC TV series

Palace of Dreams (Peter James, 1984) Anthony Buckley Films; doco about the State Theatre in Sydney; contains film historical material; 25 min.

Papua New Guinea Joins The Silk World (Giorgio Mangiamele, 1979) wr. dp Giorgio Mangiamele; 16mm, colour, 22 min.; concerned with the development of the silk-producing industry in PNG

Paramedico (Benjamin Gilmour, 2012) doco, 80 min.

Patu (Merata Mita, 1983) documentary, NZ

Paul Kelly: Stories of Me (Ian Darling, 2012) hagiography

Pearls and Savages (Frank Hurley, 1921) documentary about Anglican missions in Papua; with additional footage expanded to become With the Headhunters in Papua, 1923: Hurley presented both films lecturing from the stage; see Pike & Cooper 1998: 131-3

Personal History of the Australian Surf, A (Michael Blakemore, 1981) Being The Confessions Of A Straight Poofter (IMDb has 1983) autobiographical documentary, written and directed by Blakemore, in which he plays his own father

Philippines, My Philippines (Chris Nash, 1988) doco

Pictures that Moved, The (Alan Anderson, 1968) prod. Commonwealth Film Unit, wr. Joan Long

Point of Departure (Kathryn Millard, 1988) short doco on NZ activist Jean Devanny; 47 min.

Portrait: Jane Campion and The Portrait of a Lady (Peter Long & Kate Ellis, 1996) documentary of the two-and-a-half month shoot for The Portrait of a Lady

Protected (Alessandro Cavadini, 1975), prod. Carolyn Strachan, dp. Fabio Cavadini; dramatised documentary about a strike by Aboriginal workers in June 1957 on Palm Island

Putuparri and the Rainmakers (Nicole Ma, 2015) wr. Paul Elliot, Nicole Ma; aboriginal spirituality

Rainbow Bird and Monster Man (John Lewis, 2001?) won Best Editing in a Non Feature Film AFI Awards 7 November 2002; subject is paedophilia?

Rats in the Ranks (Bob Connolly & Robin Anderson, 1996)

Red Matildas (Sharon Connolly & Trevor Graham, 1985)

Relative Strangers (Rosemary Hesp, 1998) wr. prod. Rosemary Hesp, AFTRS, nominated for a craft award AFI 1998; quasi documentary, through voice-over, about guy who was brought up by his grandmother, with his 18 years older mother as his 'sister'; Simon Cooper's story; 12 min.

Re-Living off the Land (Simon Best & Paul Murphy, 2009) mockumentary

Remarkable Mr Kaye, The (Paul Cox, 2005) doco on Norman Kaye; 49 min.

Remembering the Man (Nickolas Bird, Eleanor Sharpe, 2015) love story: Timothy Conigrave and John Caleo; AIDS

Renegades (Phillip Noyce, 1974) shot 1970-1974; "diary film" funded by Experimental Film Fund, documentary of demonstrations and the street theatre group of George Shevtsov, Noyce and Jan Chapman

Rolling Home (Paul Witzig, 1974)

Run Rabbit, Run (Bob Ellis, Jack Ellis, 2007) Bob follows Mike Rann through the 2006 election campaign; doco, 131 min.

Salute (Matt Norman, 2008) doco about the Black Power salute at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games

Sapos (Giorgio Mangiamele, 1982) wr. dp Giorgio Mangiamele; 35mm, colour, 54 min.; made for the International Year of the Disabled, as the government saw alcoholism as the most disabling condition in PNG; first film in Pidgin (Tok Pisin)

Sherpa (Jennifer Peedom, 2015) Everest

Shipwrecked (Bill Bennett, 1984) wr. Bill Bennett; Aileen Belcher, Bill Belcher; telemovie; won SFF Best Doco

Shock Room, The (Kathryn Millard, 2015) doco on psych experiments; 70 min.

Shooting Through (Sydney Tramway Museum, c. 1997) Screensound Australia, NFSA; c. 165 min.

Show Me the Magic (Cathy Henkel, 2013) wr. Cathy Henkel, Charlie De Salis; prod. Cathy Henkel, Trish Lake; doco about DP Don McAlpine; Aust release 13 Feb 2013

Sissy (Debbie Gittins, 2001); three gay Aboriginal guys in Northbridge: ? Culbong, Anna Mae (transvestite), Ella Fitzgerald; 'We are glamorous, we are here and we are queer'; Sissy is an expression of gay black identity in Perth: CC and Ella are well known socialites and Anna Mae regularly struts her stuff on stage

Slim and I (Kriv Stenders, 2020) Slim Dusty's wife Joy McKean's story

Smokes and Lollies (Gillian Armstrong, 1976) documentary

Snakes and Ladders (Mitzi Goldman & Trish FitzSimons, 1987)

Snow, Sand and Savages: The Life of Frank Hurley (Anthony Buckley, 1972)

Someone Else's Country (Barry Alister, 1996)

South Pacific Festival of Arts (Giorgio Mangiamele [co-dir.] 1980) co-ed. Giorgio Mangiamele; 16mm, colour, 65 min.; documents the festival held in Port Moresby and provinces of PNG

Spirit Stones (Allan Collins, 2007) wr. Ken Hayward, prod. Jennifer Gherardi, JAG films, dp Torstein Dyrting; documentary

State of Shock (David Bradbury, 1989)

Steam Train Passes, A (1974) doco about loco 3801; 21 min.

Steel City (Catherine Marciniak and Aviva Ziegler) prod. Stefan Moore, Denise Haslem and Gina Twyble, production company: a Film Australia National Interest Program Status, ABC; in production 2000; about the human impact of the closure of the BHP steelworks in Newcastle

Stepping Out (Chris Noonan, 1980) dp Dean Semler; theatre for the intellectually disabled

Storm Surfers 3D (Justin McMillan, Christopher Nelius, 2012) Tom Carroll Ross Clark-Jones, Ben Matson; surfing doco

Story of Kerry, Josie and Diana 14-47, The (Gillian Armstrong, 2010) five documentary films box set: Smokes and Lollies (Gillian Armstrong, 1976)Fourteen's Good, Eighteen's Better (Gillian Armstrong, 1981) Bingo, Bridesmaids and Braces (Gillian Armstrong, 1988) Not Fourteen Again (Gillian Armstrong, 1996) Love Lust and Lies (Gillian Armstrong, 2010)

Strikebound (Richard Lowenstein, 1984) wr. Richard Lowenstein, book by Wendy Lowenstein [his mother], prod. Miranda Bain and Timothy White for TRM Productions, ed. Jill Billcock; Carol Burns, Reg Evans, Nik Forster, Chris Haywood, Hugh Keays-Byrne, David Kendall, Rob Steele; 100 min.; miners strike in 1936: they locked themselves in the main shaft; a dramatised documentary

Suburban Strippers (Mike Piper, c 1998), prod. Mike Piper, wr. ed. narr. Andrew Ellis, Piper Films, with ABC finance, broadcast on Channel 10

Sunshine City (Albie Thoms, 1973) Germaine Greer is in it; doco

Surf Movies (Albie Thoms, 1981)

Survival (Phillip Noyce, 1982) TV documentary; Mike Willesee, Diane Cilento, Jo Kennedy; 50 min.

Swastika (Philippe Mora, 1974) doco

Sylvania Waters (Brian Hill & Kate Woods 1992) TV series

Tackle Happy (2003) The Puppetry of the Penis guys

Takeover (David MacDougall & Judith MacDougall, 1980)

Tall Man, The (Tony Krawitz, 2011) doco about Palm Island

Ten Thousand Miles in the Southern Cross (George Tarr, 1922) the Southern Cross was in this case a ship; NZ

Tender (Lynette Wallworth, 2013) Wallworth's friend starts a not-for-profit funeral company; Adelaide FF October 2013

This is New Zealand (Hugh Macdonald, 1970), triptypch presentation; three screen film for Expo 70 in Japan

Thomson of Arnhem Land (John Moore); shunned by government and ostracised by white society, anthropologist David Thomson paid a high price for his progressive views on Aboriginal culture; wr. Michael Cummins, prod. Franco di Chiera, John Moore and Michael McMahon, a Film Australia National Interest Program in association with John Moore Productions, ABC; in production 2000

Touch Wood (Gillian Armstrong, 1980) documentary

Triangle Wars, The (Rosie Jones, 2011) wr. David Tiley; doco; 90 min.

True Believers (Peter Fisk, 1988) TV documentary mini-series, co-wr. Bob Ellis

Two Laws (Alessandro Cavadini & Carolyn Strachan, 1981)

Ukraine is not a Brothel (Kitty Green, 2013) Femen biopic; nommed best feature doco AACTAs 2014

Uncle Chatzkel (Rod Freedman, 2002)

Unfinished Business (2000) broadcast on SBS Saturday 3 June 2000 as part of Unfinished Business: Reconciling the Nation; Ernie Dingo, Aaron Pedersen; moving drama of separated mother and child

Unfolding Florence (Gillian Armstrong, 2006) aka A Colourful Life [working title]; Judi Farr, Felicity Price, Hannah Garbo; dramatised documentary about design pioneer Florence Broadhurst

Union Maids (J. Reichert & J. Klein, 1976)

Waiting for Harry (Kim McKenzie, 1980)

We Are All Alone My Dear (Paul Cox, 1975) on the Innocence DVD; doco about people in a nursing home; 16mm, 22 min.

We Don't Need a Map (Warwick Thornton, 2017) doco

Welcome to the Waks Family (Barbara Chobocky, 2002) family of Orthodox Jews in Melbourne, with 17 children to the same parents; 52 min.

When the Natives Get Restless (Adrian Wills & Albert Hartnett, 2007) the Gordon estate in Dubbo; 28 min.

When Mrs Hegarty Comes to Japan (Noriko Sekiguchi 1992)

White Fellas Dreaming (Dr George Miller, 1996)

Whiteley (James Bogle, 2017) doco; released 11 May

Wild (Ross Gibson, 1993)

Wildness (Scott Millwood, 2003) doco about wilderness photographers Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis and their work in Tasmania; 55 min.

Witch Hunt (Barbara Chobocky, 1986)

Year of the Dogs (Michael Cordell, 1997) Footscray AFL team, shot on video

Yellow Fella (Ivan Sen, 2005) short on life of Tom E. Lewis

Yumi Yet (Dennis O'Rourke, 1976) documentary

Notes and Links

I've invented the term mocodoco (or mockdocumentary, inspired by romzomcom, etc.) and applied it so far to Oz feature Road to Nhill (not a doco), and Nicole Kidman feature To Die For (same).

Garry Gillard | New: 9 July, 2007| Now: 2 September, 2022