Dr Mary Tomsic publishes new book

Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr Mary Tomsic publishes Beyond the Silver Screen. A history of women, filmmaking and film culture in Australia 1920-1990.

Beyond the Silver Screen tells the history of women's engagement with filmmaking and film culture in twentieth-century Australia. In doing so, it explores an array of often hidden ways women in Australia have creatively worked with film. Beyond the Silver Screen examines film in a broad sense, considering feature filmmaking alongside government documentaries and political films. It also focusses on women's work regulating films and supporting film culture through organising film societies and workshops to encourage female filmmakers. As such, it tells a new narrative of Australian film history.

Beyond the Silver Screen reveals the variety of roles film has in Australian society. It presents film as a medium of creative and political expression, which women have engaged with in diverse ways throughout the twentieth century. Gender roles and gendered ideologies operating within society at large have influenced women's opportunities to work with film and how their filmwork is recognised. Beyond the Silver Screen shows women's sustained involvement with film is best understood as political and cultural action.

Hear Mary speak with Fran Kelly on the ABC's RN breakfast program about women and film in Australia here.

Copies of Beyond the Silver Screen can be purchased through the Melbourne University Publishing website.