Release date17 November 1972 (1972-11-17) Initial releaseNovember 17, 1972 (Australia) ProducersTom Cowan, Richard Brennan CastByron Kennedy, John Wood (Clyde), Kate Fitzpatrick (Mara), Max Cullen (Paddy), Elaine Smith Similar moviesRoad to Nhill (1997), Mullet (2001), Me - Myself - I (1999), My Mother Frank (2000), Clubland (2007)
The office picnic screener
The Office Picnic is a 1972 Australian comedy film directed by Tom Cowan. It was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.
A group of public servants go on an annual picnic. Two of them, Peter and Elly, disappear.
John Wood as Clyde
Kate Fitzpatrick as Mara
Philip Deamer as Peter
Gaye Steele as Elly
Ben Gabriel as Mr Johnson
Max Cullen as Jim O'Casey
Cowan got the idea to make the film while walking through the bush during shooting of a documentary in the Victorian countryside. He says he was also influenced by the novels of Patrick White and the films of Antonioni.
The film was shot on 35mm using a budget in part funded by the Experimental Film and Television Fund. It started in January 1972 but the money ran out during filming and there was a hiatus until filming resumed in April. The shoot took fifteen days in all.
The film was successfully previewed at Toorak and for a time it looked as though it would be distributed by British Empire Films but in the end most commercial screenings were arranged by the director.