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Australian films arouse world interest

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A retrospective review of Australian ethnographic

films compiled by the News and Information Bureau's Film

Division and covering every major study of the Australian

Aboriginal and the people of Papua and New Guinea made between

1901 and the present day is currently showing in Florence,


Announcing this today, the Minister for the

Interior, Mr. Anthony, said that the Australian films provided

the central feature of the Festival dei Popoli, one of the

world's most important scientific film festivals, held

annually in Florence.

In all, some 20 hours of Australian ethnographic

films were being screened during the seven days of the festival

which would end on February 19. Items of special interest

included 'Pearls and Savages', a documentary made in 1921 by

Captain Frank Hurley on an early expedition into the interior

of New Guinea, film shot by Professor Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer

in central Australia and Northern Queensland between 1901 and

1911, and, more recently, 'Primitive. People; the Nomads', a 1949

production for which Australian actmr Peter Finch spoke the

commentary and on which he worked as assistant to the Director.

Mr. Anthony said that the restrospective review

would focus the attention of world scholars on the achievements

of Australian ethnographic film makers throughout the present

century. The review was being presented in Florence by

Ian Dunlop, a director with the Commonwealth Film Unit, whose

own anthropological film studies carried out in recent years

among the Aborigines of Australia's Western Desert had won

international attention.

CANBERRA - 16/2/67