Set against the background of the rural crisis of the early seventies, this is a drama about a family who are faced with near bankruptcy after several seasons of drought and falling prices. 

George Collier (Ewen Solon) is a sheep farmer who attempts to secure financial aid, without fully understanding the way government aid programs work. He and his wife (Kay Taylor) decide to leave their farm and settle in Sydney.

 

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Production Details

Production company: Film Australia

Budget: n/a, low

Locations: Bathust, Milthorpe and surrounds, Sydney, including beaches

Filmed: 1973

Australian distributor: Film Australia

Theatrical release: n/a, distributed through non-theatrical film libraries, screened on commercial television January 1974.

Rating: G

16mm   colour                                                                                                                                 

Running time: 57 mins (Oxford, NSFA)

Box office: n/a, minimal. As the federal government film production agency, Film Australia was more interested in wide-ranging circulation to spread a sympathetic message about farmers, than box office returns.

 

Opinion

Awards

Writers Anne Brooksband and Cliff Green won an Australian Writers' Guild Awgie in 1973 for the best feature film screenplay.

The film was a winner of a Silver Award in the Fiction category of the 1973 Australian Film Institute awards for producer Don Murray and director Richard Mason


Availability

Not known outside the archive or reference libraries.

1. Source:


In the typical Film Australia style, Moving On was as much a sponsored drama documentary as it was a short feature, embedding a message from government into the drama featuring farmers.


The two writers were commissioned by the federal government production arm to develop the script. The story was in response to the rural crisis in the early nineteen seventies.

2. Production:


In this case, the story concerns the way a struggling sheep farmer, confronted by difficulties on the farm, might make poor financial decisions that get him into further trouble, by failing to understand how government aid and programs work.

On the other hand, city people confronted by his plight fail to appreciate the genuine business difficulties he faces, and the social pressures he and his family endure when they move from the country to the city …

The film was one of Film Australia's contributions to the long running Australian genre featuring bush dangers, struggling cockies and squatters, and the threats of droughts and fire and cyclones. Other films in the genre include The Squatter's Daughter (1933), Sons of Matthew, the Bellbird soap spin-off Country Town, No Worries and the ABC mini-series The Farm.

Bob Ellis records one line written by his wife Anne Brookesbank in the film: "You spend your life tiptoeing around a man's pride".


3. Richard Mason:

Director Richard Mason was a long time producer and director at the Commonwealth Film Unit, and then Film Australia, and co-directed short films like the parody of sponsored travelogues, the award-winning From the Tropics to the Snow, with British director Jack Lee.


Mason produced the FA feature film Let the Balloon Go, and also worked as producer with director John Duigan on feature films One Night Stand, Winter of Our Dreams and Far East, before heading off to work at the ACTF on the Winners series, and the feature films Redheads and Broken Highway.


4. Date of production:


the Oxford and other databases date the film to 1974, when it was released on television, but the film was completed in 1973, and this site dates where possible to the year of production.