Twitter Feature Image

April 2009, Rochelle Siemienowicz

Flocking to Twitter: Australian Film and Television enters the micro-blogging age


Like a flock of excited birds, people working in Australian film and television are starting to Twitter, using the online application to instantly inform the world of their productions, plans and breaking news. There are filmmakers, bloggers and fans Twittering alongside television programs, movie magazines, funding bodies and cinemas. Whether they’re writing as individuals or groups, they’re all offering information, insights and quick links to other onlinecontent. It’s fun, it’s immediate, and it’s a great way to eavesdrop on what’s happening right this minute.

What is this thing Twitter? If you’ve managed to thus far remain blissfully ignorant, it's basically an internet service enabling users to send and receive instant sound-bite updates and weblinks of 140 characters or less – about two lines of text. Users create a simple account with a login and password. They choose to ‘follow’ the Twitter updates of those who interest them, and in turn others ‘follow’ them. It’s often called micro-blogging.


With an estimated six million users worldwide, Twitter is still new, with a relatively small network of users – though in the last few months it has gained massive momentum.

 Twitter Bird  


It may prove a short-lived phenomenon for bite-sized attention spans, or, like Facebook, it will become just another way of connecting with others and using the media to put messages out in the public domain.


Sifting through Twitter feeds, one gets the sense that people and corporations are still trying to get their heads around the concept. What kinds of messages best capture attention? What are the risks of a badly judged ‘Tweet’? What kind of ‘tone’ does a corporate entity adopt without sounding like an automated press release machine? The most popular Twitterers quickly learn the ‘Haiku’ art of teasing and intriguing the reader with 140 characters, enticing them to click through to other portals that offer more in-depth information.


If you’re interested in using Twitter to promote your film or business, follow the links in the ‘Extra Resources’ box at the end of this page.


So who’s Twittering in the world of Australian film and TV? All the major film distributors have joined, and magazines like Inside Film and Filmink offer entertaining and informative updates with links to YouTube clips, screening information and breaking news. Screen bodies like Film Victoria send out information about funding application deadlines and new screen culture initiatives. TV stations like SBS Twitter about upcoming program highlights; while individual films Samson & Delilah, Acolytes and The Burning Season feed out new images, downloadable ring-tones and links to their websites, thus generating free advance publicity for the films.


Here at the AFI we're just starting to explore Twitter as another way of staying in touch with the public and the film and television industries. Why not follow our journey?


For general AFI news and AFI Awards messages and reminders, you can follow AFI_online (

Or you can follow me, the editor, as I publish interesting news threads and post links to the things that catch my eye as I’m trawling the net


   AFI Twitter


If it all sounds like a waste of your precious time, feel free to ignore Twitter completely. All the AFI’s essential information will still be available on our website or in our fortnightly e-news bulletins. But if you’re curious, have a look at our quick guide to Australian film and TV Twitterers. We’ve included sample “Tweets” – Twitter updates – for a taste of what you can expect if you decide to follow these feeds.


A Quick Look at Who’s Twittering in Australian Film and Television and What They’re Tweeting…




AFI_online (
Entries for the 2009 AFI Awards open next week. Stay tuned to for details.


AFI_editor (
Adam Elliot asks: Is there a rule that animated characters can't die or try to kill themselves? Great interview:




The Burning Season

THE BURNING SEASON will compete in the ‘World Documentary Feature Competition’ at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival in April.


Samson & Delilah
Check out our new ringtone downloads on



The Crush trailer is killing it on You Tube...120,000 views!!


Closed for Winter
'Closed for Winter' starring Natalie Imbruglia in cinemas from April 23!


Prime Mover
We've been nominated for the Premier's Literary Award!


opens Melb may 2 @ ACMI.




Inside Film Magazine
Mother & Son to be remade in USA:


IF Awards

There are five Australian film screening in cinemas at the moment, can you name them?

Director extraordinaire Matt Zeremes has just come into the office. O.M.G.




Footprint Films
check out our new websites!! and


Transmission Films
Transmission welcomes Viggo Mortensen to Sydney, in town to do the PR rounds for "GOOD."


Madman News
Go way beyond thunderdome - the next MAD MAX will be a 3D anime!: Australia's iconic post-apocalyptic road movie..


Palace Films
hear the lovely julie rigg, one of oz's best broadcasters, interview (sigh) Juliette Binoche re Assayas & S.Hours.


Cinema Nova
The tide's turning for Aussie films? Tom Ryan's 5 stars for MARY & MAX is a deserved ray of sunshine for Adam & Mel. See it Thursday at Nova.




At the Movies
we are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Wouter Barendrecht of Fortissimo Films.


Cinema Autopsy

Yesterday I saw Elegy (very late Australian release) and The Uninvited. Both pretty ordinary.


Luke Buckmaster

Listen to my review of Love the Beast on radio 2HD:


Mathieu Ravier
Cannes rumour: Australian Palme D'Or winner Jane Campion will bring "Bright Star" the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne.





For all you movie buffs, there's a new SBS Film website:


Channel Seven
Congratulations to Rebecca Gibney for her Gold #Logie Nomination. Packed to the Rafters will be back later in 2009.


Channel Ten
Rove returns to Channel Ten on 8th February. Get tickets from:




Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS)
Uber producer Jan Chapman takes the stage this week at AFTRS' Friday on My Mind - best bit it's FREE:


Film Victoria“Where the Wild Things Are trailer features Williamstown, Werribee, Dandenongs & Bushmans Bay -


The School of Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney

Currently hatching a plan with my 4th Year students of how we're going to get the School's good work out to the world on Web 2.0.




Dungog Film Festival

Processing lots of delicious new films!


St Kilda Film Festival

thinks if you have Facebook, you should become our fan here:


Sydney Film Festival

No time to tweet today, loads to do. Casting TVC, getting website ready to launch, sorting out new ticketing system etc... Whew! 




Twitter Search learn what people are saying about any term, idea, person or film (including your own) – translates long web addresses into short ones to maximise your 140 characters.


“10 Twitter Tips for Filmmakers” by Elliot Grove


“50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business”, by Chris Brogan


“How Twitter Can Help at Work”, by Sarah Milstein

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