Indigenous Film Studies in the Digital World

Dr Romaine Moreton on location, The Oysterman (2013)
Dr Romaine Moreton on location, The Oysterman (2013)

A unique new digital tool will allow access to a wide range of sources of information about Australian Indigenous film and television.

Developed by Monash University researchers Dr Therese Davis and Dr Romaine Moreton from the School of Media Film and Journalism, the Australian Indigenous Film and Television Digital Bibliography is the first of its kind in the new field of digital bibliography, which uses new media techniques to create digital research and study tools.

Dr Moreton recently appointed to Monash as a Research Fellow and Filmmaker-in-Residence said it was significant that the digital bibliography was dedicated solely to the study of works by Indigenous filmmakers.

“Since the inception of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department in 1993, Indigenous filmmaking has developed at a phenomenal rate and we realised there wasn’t a resource where students, teachers, researchers, filmmakers and the public could access a wide range of sources of information about the Indigenous screen industry in Australia,” Dr Moreton said.

“Maureen Barron, former Chair of the Australian Film Commission, has described Indigenous filmmaking as ‘one of the most critically lauded and successful sectors of the Australian film industry.’ There are now more than 600 titles, mostly shorts and documentaries but also 16 feature films and 23 television dramas where Indigenous filmmakers have held a key creative role.”

The digital bibliography gives access to relevant government reports and policy documents; summaries of key reports and policy documents; case studies of selected key films; and comprehensive lists of books, journal articles and film reviews. There are also links to online film previews, interviews and other resources.

“By making sources of information about Indigenous-authored film and television easily accessible, the Australian Indigenous Film and Television Digital Bibliography enables local and international scholarship, film and media education, and public policy debate on Indigenous screen production in Australia,” Dr Moreton said.

The bibliography is an outcome of a collaborative research project, “Beyond the ‘Remote/Urban’ Divide: Re-Mapping Australian Indigenous Screen Content and its Audiences”, funded by a Screen Australia Research and Publication Partnership Program grant. It can be accessed through the Faculty of Arts website.

Find out more: