"Unknown Pleasures: Australian independent cinema" is a new series of semi-regular screenings curated and presented by Chris Luscri & Bill Mousoulis, featuring the best of Australian indie cinema, both new and old, narrative and non-narrative, with discussions with most of the filmmakers, presented in the boutique venue Long Play Cinema in Melbourne.

The Australian cinema industry has, over many years, a poor track record in supporting and screening the work of our country's underground and independent film-makers. This is increasingly true in the age of digital film-making, streaming and VOD, where a wealth of new film-makers are continuing to produce high-quality work, at the same time as the often internecine mechanisms of the traditional distribution/exhibition model increasingly pushes them away from centres of visibility and toward new, untested (and financially suspect) models.

"Unknown Pleasures" is an attempt to throw some light on these under-represented films and film-makers but, more than that, an attempt to foster a sense of community at such a time when the issue of diversity, access and fair representation in the arts is an increasingly – and rightfully – important issue, as is the manner in which issues of intersectionality and unconscious bias (whether on class, gender, ethnicity, disability, age or sexuality grounds) influence the way films are made, and how they are seen.

From CALD, LGBT+, low socio-economic and the differently abled, many film-makers profiled in our series – across the generations – are veritable case studies in the overcoming of obstacles in the pursuit of a creative, and sometimes spiritual, vocation, the very essence of the art of film-making personified. We are immensely proud and privileged to be able to showcase their work, and grateful to the film-makers for giving us their unconditional trust.

"Unknown Pleasures" is structured somewhat informally – as a gathering of friends and colleagues, eager to show each other work, to share a drink and a meal, to discuss and proclaim, passionately, to dream.

We like to mix older films and newer films, and film-makers from across the span of generations, in order to foster a richer screening culture, and a sense of shared intersection and history.

We believe in the wisdom of our elders, in the struggles of the past, in the passing down (and, in some cases, passing up) of knowledge.

Most of all, we want to see a cultural change in the way that films are exhibited in this country, a movement toward a more intimate, local model with film-makers closely and passionately engaged with their audiences.

We believe the future of independent Australian film, as the theatrical model becomes more and more bottlenecked, is dependent on this.

- Chris Luscri & Bill Mousoulis, co-curators, February 2019


Go to 2019 program