BOOK LAUNCH: THOSE DASHING MCDONAGH SISTERS

BOOK LAUNCH: THOSE DASHING MCDONAGH SISTERS

Thu
8
Thu Dec 8 6:00 PM

Arc Cinema
Allocated Seating
60 Mins
December
Thu Dec 8

Join us for the Canberra launch of Those Dashing McDonagh Sisters: Australia’s first female filmmaking team by Mandy Sayer 
 
Mandy will be in conversation with NFSA Program Manager Karina Libbey about 3 astonishing sisters, their careers and the book’s deep dive into Australia’s cinema history, supported by clips and images from the NFSA collection.   
 
The trailblazing McDonagh sisters were the first women in Australia to form their own film production company. Between 1926 and 1933, while they were in their mid-twenties, these sisters produced feature films and several documentaries.  
 
The youngest, Paulette, was at the time one of only women film directors in the world. Phyllis produced, art directed and conducted publicity. And the eldest sister, Isabel, under her stage name Marie Lorraine, acted superbly in the leading female roles 
 
Together, the sisters transformed Australian cinema’s preoccupations with the outback and the bush – which they mocked as ‘haystack movies’ – into a thrilling, urban modernity. Although the trio didn’t set out deliberately to blaze a trail of feminism, their collective confidence and independence were striking at a time when there were few career options available to women.  
 
In Those Dashing McDonagh Sisters, Mandy Sayer narrates the sisters’ remarkable story, from their first feature film – Those Who Love (1926), an instant hit – to their controversial final film, Two Minutes Silence (1933).  
 
The NFSA Restores restoration of The Cheaters has screened at international film festivals, most notably in New York and London, to rapturous reviews. 
 
‘Engrossing and entertaining. An inspiration for filmmakers and artists today and anyone who dreams’  Jan Chapman  
 
‘Not just for film aficionados – it’s gossipy, fascinating and totally entertaining. A FABULOUS read, absolutely adored it!’ – Jacki Weaver 

BIO 
 
MANDY SAYER is an award-winning novelist and narrative non-fiction writer. Her work has been published in the UK, the US, Brazil, Germany, Japan and China. Sayer’s honours include the Vogel Award, the National Biography Award, the South Australian Premier’s Award for Non-Fiction, The Age Book of the Year for Non-fiction and the Davitt Award for Young Adult Fiction. She received the 2021 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, which supported her research and writing of Those Dashing McDonagh Sisters. She lives in Sydney with her husband, writer Louis Nowra, and their rescue dog, Basil.  

December
Thu Dec 8

Arc Cinema

1 McCoy Circuit Acton, Australian Capital Territory, 2601