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You think it was your decision to hold off seeing a new Australian film at the cinema last night? Unseen forces may have made up your mind. Think about it this way: how many posters have you spotted around town for that latest homegrown sleeper hit? With film distributors and exhibitors prioritising films backed by the biggest marketing budgets – usually US movies – producers, directors and academics are questioning the future of Australian film in the cinema.

In 2014 to date, Australian films have accounted for just 2.28% of box office takings nationally, says the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).

Strange force, this power of popularity. Actors chase audience recognition for years, and the love is sometimes returned magnified and manifold. Fans are ready everywhere with a warm greeting, so there’s the tricky ground of negotiating emotional terrain away from the cameras. When a handsome, confident painter who has never seen a performance by Asher Keddie, Australia’s most popular television actor, asks to paint her for the Archibald Prize for portraiture, she falls for him, and he for her.

All Sorts: a love letter to Sydney,
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