The War Veteran as Conduit into the 1920s: Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014) and Peaky Blinders (2013-present)

Peaky Blinders

by Dirk Gibb


This podcast is of a seminar presented by Dirk Gibb at UNSW Australia for SSSN on 17th May 2016. Dirk’s paper is followed by a question and answer section conducted by the audience present on the day. There are two sections of Q&A in this podcast; the first refers to Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Episode 5, which was screened immediately following Dirk’s paper; the second refers to Peaky Blinders Season 1 Episode 1.

Dirk Gibb (UoN) is in his final year of a Ph.D in Film, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Newcastle, under the supervision of Dr. Hamish Ford, Dr. James Bennett and Associate Professor Alistair Rolls. His project (which has a strong historical component) deals with the revival of the 1920s in twenty-first century popular culture. His argument is that this revival of a “protean” decade marks the site of a palimpsest in Western language film and television production, with traces of the present to be uncovered in such films as Midnight In Paris and The Great Gatsby, and such television programs as Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey and Underbelly: Razor. Prior to this, Dirk, a student at UON since 2008, received his Bachelor of Arts in 2011 and his Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in 2013. His Honours thesis, Flying To A Quiet Mountain Town Upon A Dung Beetle: Aristophanic Elements In South Park (supervised by Associate Professor Michael Ewans), was published as a book by Lambert Academic Publishing in 2013.

Queer Identities in Empire (2015-pres.)


by Ava Parsemain


This podcast is of a seminar presented by Ava Parsemain at UNSW Australia for SSSN on 19th April 2016. Ava’s paper is followed by a question and answer section conducted by the audience present on the day. The Q&A in this podcast refers to Empire Season 2 Episode 10, which was screened immediately following Ava’s paper.

Ava Parsemain (UNSW) teaches Media Studies in the School of the Arts and Media. Her doctoral thesis explored the educational dimension of television, using case studies of Australian series to understand how different programmes teach and how viewers learn. She is current working on a research project that investigates how contemporary American television educates about queer identities and related social issues such as discrimination, homophobia and transphobia. Her ongoing research interests include television, informal learning, media literacy, pedagogy, and the relationship between education and entertainment.

The Emerging Gap: From Student to Filmmaker


Chaired by Klara Bruveris


This podcast is of a roundtable discussion at UNSW Australia for SSSN on 5th April 2016. The panel specifically addressed the Metro Screen research paper, “Emerging Visions: Career Pathways in the Australian Screen Production Industry“, and, more broadly, they discussed the difficulties of bridging the gap between tertiary film education and the Australian film industry. The panel was chaired by Klara Bruveris, who was joined by Katie Amos, Noni Cowan, Pat McCoy, Jessie Hildebrand and Nicole Douglas, all of whom are graduates of UNSW’s Film Studies and Media and Communications programs and are current film industry professionals.

*Please note, this recording contains explicit language.

Questions asked in the Q&A:

  1. Where do you all want to be in ten years?
  2. Regarding the idea to redistribute money, would it not work better to use the money more effectively in the tertiary sector?
  3. For those working in post-production, do you have any insights into the process of distribution?
  4. Can you talk about diversity in the industry in terms of race?
  5. As an aspiring filmmaker, am I being naive in exploring jobs outside Australia?


In late 2015 Metro Screen revealed the findings of its commissioned research project ‘Emerging Visions: Career Pathways in the Australian Screen Production Industry’. The study showed that screen output in Australia is mostly produced by established and mid-career practitioners, practitioners who benefitted from career development opportunities that current emerging practitioners are no longer offered. There has been an increase in enrolment in screen studies, but a decrease in support mechanisms that could help new graduates enter the industry and establish their careers. This has raised concerns about the future of the Australian screen industry. If we do not nurture emerging talent, who will make our stories in the future?

This panel continues the discussion begun by the ‘Emerging Visions’ report. Five UNSW graduates and emerging industry practitioners return to share their experiences of joining the screen industry. What support have they received as emerging practitioners? Have they experienced any discrimination? Did UNSW provide them with the skills to pursue a career in filmmaking? What does this report mean to them? We will also begin to tease out a response to the questions brought up by the findings of the report. For example: what equitable structures and pathways can we create to help young talent move forward? How can the education sector, production sector and funding bodies work together to help bridge the gap between formal study and professional practice? And who is responsible for taking the lead?

Mining mythology in 21st century Australia film: Red Dog (2011) and Japanese Story (2003)

Red-Dog (1).jpg

by Ben Chapman


This podcast is of a seminar presented by Ben Chapman at UNSW Australia for SSSN on 22nd March 2016. Ben’s paper is followed by a question and answer section conducted by the audience present on the day.

*Please note, during the seminar clips of films were played to support the discussion. These have been removed with respect to copyright.

Ben Chapman (WSU) has worked in Australian Politics for the past ten years. During this time he has also studied and researched the expression of Australian identity in film and what it can tell us about broader Australian society.  He wrote an article on Australian filmic mining mythology in the March 2014 edition of Studies in Australasian Cinema and presented on the same topic at the recent Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference in Brisbane.