From the Outback to the Background: Indian Films in Australia

Michael Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The rise of Indian film within Australia at the level of production, distribution and exhibition is one of the most important transformations in the Australian cinema landscape over the past decade. Despite Australian efforts to attract runaway Hollywood production, Indian films currently constitute the major international production component in Australia. These films represent notable departures from received notions of Australian film production: they foreground urban cosmopolitanism in Australia rather than rural landscape-based cinema, and they are responsive to state government policies rather than federal ones. The exhibition and distribution of Indian films has also become a major component in any description of Australian national cinema that incorporates the circulation and consumption of films. Indian films currently represent 10 per cent of the films released commercially in Australia. This article tracks the performance of Indian films at the Australian box office and argues that their presence and positioning in Australian cinema challenges traditional notions of the limits of diasporic cinema. Despite this increased prominence, Indian films remain a comparatively small part of Australian cinema consumption, and this article ends by trying to explain the factors that will need to be overcome for a continued expansion of this type of film consumption within Australia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-230
    Number of pages16
    JournalStudies in Australasian Cinema
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Indian cinema Australian cinema International production Australian exhibition distribution film policy national cinema


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