John Hughes (AUS)
Independent Filmmaker

Independent filmmaker John Hughes’ documentary output is formally innovative and research driven.

Australian labour history, native title and Indigenous rights are prominent topics among his films. Over recent years, a number of his projects focused on Australian documentary film history, in particular the early post-war and Cold War years.

He is an Honorary Fellow, School of Film and Television, Faculty of VCA & Music, University of Melbourne, Faculty of Media and Communication at RMIT and Research Associate with the Faculty of Art & Design, University of Canberra. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2017. A recent paper ’Zubrycki’s Point: Amongst Equals, utilitarian film in the Australian labour movement’ examines Tom Zubrycki’s abandoned television history of the Australian trade union movement Amongst Equals (1985-1992) that starkly illustrates dilemmas at the threshold of the sponsored film, including issues concerning the politicised articulation of the past. Questions of ethical responsibilities of filmmakers (and historians) working under editorial direction are here informed by debates of the Art and Working Life movement in Australia during the 1980s. The Films of John Hughes: a history of independent screen production in Australia (Cumming, 2014) is published by ATOM. Website: