It surprises many to learn that Australia was a pioneer in the development of film. In fact the Australian film The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) is considered the first ever feature film. In the pre-war period Australia's films mainly focused on experiences of the 'settler', bushrangers and our past as a penal colony.
Post-1945, Australia film making becoming more daring, with a greater variety of stories, and established a global reputation. In particular, the 1970s was a golden era in the Australian film industry with countless productions and Australian filmmakers and films being lauded internationally. This includes filmmakers such as Bruce Beresford, Peter Weir and Gillian Armstrong, and films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Devil's Playground and Mad Max.
Australia continued to grow in reputation and output through the 1980s and 1990s, both locally and internationally. However, the new millennium saw a steady decrease in the number of locally produced Australian films and an increase in the number of Australians working in overseas film industries and Hollywood films being filmed in Australia. By the mid 2000s, few Australian films perform well at the local box-office.