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Antidote Films and Gil Scrine

About Antidote Films

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 my own documentaries, today the company is the Australian distributor for award winning films from all over the world.

The beginnings… by Gil Scrine

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).

…staying awake and tuned to what’s happening in the world and looking for the film that fits.

Each time I made a film I faced the same confounding problem…how do I find an audience? The answer is as true today as it was back then: Try and hit the zeitgeist…this means staying awake and tuned to what’s happening in the world and looking for the film that fits. I’ve been in the business so long now that the right film often finds me in a serendipitous way e.g  Death of a Gentleman and More Than Honey; sometimes it is the result of long collaborations with the filmmakers eg. Make Hummus Not War and Monsieur Mayonnaise (Dir. Trevor Graham) or The Coming War on China and Utopia (Dir. John Pilger)

I search for the overlooked films… films missed by my competitors because they are too “small” or “difficult”… Gil Scrine

Gil’s philosophy on films selected for distribution

My philosophy? I search for the overlooked films, like Death of a Gentleman, Utopia, and the new film by John Pilger, The Coming War on China– 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 This Aint No Mouse Music or Good Ole Freda, or Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia 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.

About 5 years ago I teamed up with Louise van Rooyen to create Beamafilm. The DVD business was falling off a cliff and I could see that streaming was going to be big especially with all the promises of the NBN. Despite the Government not living up to its NBN promises we have Beamafilm established now and we did it using an innovative solution. We license the whole catalogue to Municipal Libraries whose members can then watch anything on Beamafilm for free. We also provide Rental and Subscription services. All the Antidote Films are there, along with a curated collection from Madman and many other distributors. Five years ago Beamafilm was one of the few streaming companies around.

Today, among the constellation of choices, Beamafilm remains a hidden gem; we are one of only two  independently owned Australian streaming companies (that I know of) and over 60% of our films cannot be found anywhere else. People often ask: how can I help? One easy thing everyone can do is this: Join your local library and insist they license Beamafilm!

Cheers, Gil Scrine