Judy Davis in a still from 'My Brilliant Career' (1979)
Judy Davis in a still from 'My Brilliant Career' (1979)
My Brilliant Career (1979)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

My Brilliant Career

Gillian Armstrong | Australia | 1979 | G

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Tue 12 Apr - Wed 13 Apr 2022


Cinémathèque’s Gillian Armstrong screenings will be repeated twice weekly in ACMI Cinema 2 to accommodate the large Cinémathèque audience, as ACMI Cinema 1 is currently closed due to urgent building works. Please double check the calendar to find out which night the extra screening is taking place. We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming Cinémathèque members back to the ACMI Cinemas.


Based on Miles Franklin’s semi-autobiographical 1901 novel, Gillian Armstrong’s first feature is a milestone in Australian feminist cinema. A virtual unknown at the time, Judy Davis won a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of a headstrong, free-spirited girl who refuses to follow convention and dreams of a better life amongst the farmlands of sun-baked rural Australia. Also features Sam Neill and Wendy Hughes.

This screening is preceded by The Roof Needs Mowing (1971, 8 mins). Armstrong’s breakthrough student film is a whimsical, surreal vision of everyday life and suburban boredom.

Presented with the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program – NFSA Restores – reviving our cinema icons.

Format: DCP, Colour
Language: English
Source: National Film & Sound Archive of Australia
Courtesy: Madman Entertainment
Runtime: 108 mins

Event duration

108 mins




Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

Membership options

Mini membership
(3 consecutive weeks)

Annual memberships


Screens with


Wildflowers: dancing, desire and freedom in the films of Gillian Armstrong

My Brilliant Career (1979) – Tues 12 April & Wed 13 Apr, 7pm
Certain Women: three films by Gillian Armstrong – Tues 12 April & Wed 13 Apr, 9pm
High Tide (1987) – Tues 19 Apr & Wed 20 Apr, 7pm
Unfolding Florence: the many lives of Florence Broadhurst (2006) – Tues 19 Apr & Wed 20 Apr, 8.50pm
Starstruck (1982) – Mon 25 Apr & Wed 27 Apr, 7pm
Little Women (1994) – Mon 25 Apr & Wed 27 Apr, 8.55pm


About the program

One of Australia’s most successful and important directors, Gillian Armstrong (1950– ) has built a significant profile as a filmmaker in her home country, in addition to maintaining a career internationally. Entering the industry in the 1970s, Armstrong was more than just an important part of the Australian cinema revival – with My Brilliant Career in 1979 she was the first woman to direct a 35mm feature film in Australia for over four decades...

Wildflowers- dancing, desire and freedom in the films of Gillian Armstrong

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About Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

Learn more | View the 2022 program

Melbourne Cinémathèque - Dirk Bogarde in a still from Victim