Andrew Pike OAM MA ’73, BA (Hons) ‘69

Andrew Pike OAM, MA '73, BA (Hons) '69, in 2013.

Alumni Then & Now: Andrew Pike OAM MA ’73, BA (Hons) ‘69

"I originally wanted to study film, so I did the closest I could do: English and History," says Andrew Pike, now managing director of Ronin Films and founder of Electric Shadows Cinema.

"But really, my training and university experience was a product of end of year exams. I joined the ANU Film Group in the first year as an undergraduate - that would have been about 1964.

"At that stage, we were showing films at various venues around the University and we used to lug loaned projectors around the University.

"We were showing 16 millimetre prints of the films that we really liked - new feature films from the US and the UK - and also films we would borrow from the French or Czech Embassies.

"We'd preview things to make sure that they were ok to run, and then we'd get really excited about them, and run them once, and then again and again."

Pike says there would be big crowds in the Physics Lecture Theatre, which was a "primitive" venue for film screenings, before setting up in the Coombs Theatre.

"We were definitely running esoteric stuff," he says.

"It was student led, and basically, student supported, we didn't have much involvement from academic staff. We started actually making films towards the end of the 1960s.

"The Federal Government created an Experimental Film and TV Fund and a couple of us got small grants from that.

"We started making experimental films. And that activity was given great stimulus by the appointment of Arthur and Corinne Cantrill as Creative Arts Fellows in the late 1960s.

"They were film makers who were working outside the mainstream industry doing abstract, avant-guard films."