No, not anything to do with Yoram Gross’s 1970s-80s series of animated features. These Adventures of Dot are a short film that was made about fifty times between 1927 and the late 1940s.

I stumbled across this story a few years ago when researching for a talk on Australian film history.

It turned out that several filmmakers of the time hit on an idea. They travelled from country town to country town throughout Australia, inviting locals to audition for a part in a short film, and be voted on by the local community. Scenes were shot, the lucky applicants took part, the film was sent back to a capital city for processing and editing, and a print would come back a week or so later, to be screened in the local cinema – always to a packed house of course, anxious to see their town (and maybe themselves) on the screen.

But Graham Shirley has the full story, and he presented it to the Royal Australian Historical Society a while back.

Home Talent, a lecture by RAHS Councillor Graham Shirley, will premiere on the RAHS YouTube Channel on Saturday 4 September at 6pm! You can watch it then, or any time after that. Or you can read the story in the RAHS History magazine here.

Home Talent is an exciting deep dive into the history of Australia’s itinerant filmmakers, with a focus on how they utilised local actors—’home talent’—to produce films that featured individual communities across the country.

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