Antidote Films (previously known as Gil Scrine Films) is a Brisbane based independent film distributor specialising in arthouse films and social documentaries. Established in 1973 as a vehicle for distributing the documentaries of Gil Scrine, today the company is the Australian distributor for award winning films from all over the world.
Back in 1973 I made a film called The Bad Society, about the ideas of (the late) Jim Cairns. I followed this with Home On The Range (US Bases in Australia, 1982) another political documentary. Then came Buried Alive (The Story of East Timor) in 1989. I have looked at tourism with Strangers In Paradise (1989), and the eccentricities of Australia’s media ownership in A Thousand Miles From Care (1991).
Each time I made a film I faced the same confounding problem: how to find an audience?
When some Canadian friends were making a film about Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media), they asked if they could license some footage from Buried Alive. When they admitted later they couldn’t pay me the royalty, they offered instead the distribution rights to their film in Australia.
Not too many cinema owners had ever heard of Noam Chomsky at the time, but this film is so impressive, I made it my first success and today, this film remains a popular title in my collection. Years later, one of those same filmmakers, Mark Achbar, made The Corporation, which I am also proud to represent.
My philosophy? I search for the overlooked films, like Dinner Rush, or Life and Debt or Four Of A Kind – films missed by my competitors because they are too “small” or “difficult” or simply lost in the mad rush for the “new”. Being a micro-distributor I can often capture a film like The Corporation, or Head On or Le Ville est Tranquille because I move fast when I see something I like, and my personal approach appeals to filmmakers who know only too well the sound of an empty promise.
I commend my little film collection to you. Most of these titles would never have been released in Australia or New Zealand without us, the little gang here at Gil Scrine Films. We hope you will be enlightened, engaged and entertained.
Our world is an interesting place.
Cheers, Gil Scrine