Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Ivan Gaal
b. March 23, 1938, Budapest, Hungary.

BIOGRAPHY:   After arriving in Australia as a Hungarian refugee in 1957, Ivan soon commenced a journey into the world of photography and film making, as a form of expression, which was complemented by periods of employment with ABC Radio and TV, and some teacher training.

His photos for the Pram Factory opened the way for making two short films with Max Gillies and others, Applause Please and Soft Soap.

He became actively involved in the Melbourne Filmmakers Co-Operative till its demise in the mid '70s.

His short films such as Applause Please and Camberwell Junction became popular cult movies in the Melbourne and Sydney Film Co-Operatives. Soft Soap had general theatrical distribution in Australia and in US in the '70s.


Ivan Gaal

Ivan graduated from Swinburne Film School in 1978. During 20 years with the Victorian Department of Education’s Film Unit, besides making independent films, Ivan produced and directed many short films and documentaries shown at film festivals in Australia and overseas. These include Tandberg on Page One, which was nominated for an AFI Award. Jubilee and Beyond (also nominated, but had to be withdrawn), and Ibrahim, which received two ATOM awards plus other acknowledgments in overseas film festivals.

He was also a judge twice at the Melbourne International Film Festival and at the now renowned St Kilda Film Festival.

Ivan is also a judge at the Warburton Film Festival Short Film Competition (“Show Us Your Shorts”).

He won the Visage 2014 Portrait Competition in Photography (Yarra Ranges). His portrait photos also made the finals in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2013, 2015 & 2022 in Canberra, and Duo Magazine Percival Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 in Townsville.

He also staged a solo photo exhibition at Art Centre, Warburton, Victoria, 2017.

In 2021, Gaal published his autobiography, It's All Good ... (ISBN 978-0646-84034-5).

His films and videos are available from ACMI Lending Collection and NFSA in Canberra

Fifteen of his films are on permanent display at the ACMI Mediatheque (Melbourne)..

See also Comment, Think, Analyse, Experience and Learn: The Neglected Film Work of Ivan Gaal by Adrian Martin.

And Gaal captures ‘soul’ moments by Jesse Graham.

Ivan Gaal's photography book is also downloadable in PDF format here (57 Mb) - People, Stories & Dance.

See also Ivan Gaal on Wikipedia

Getting the Massage
Getting the Message

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   "Socially relevant films like these are implicitly probing the social substructure of this society…" said filmmaker Nigel Buesst about my films.

With every film I’ve made I tried to change public attitudes or ‘to make a difference’ in the minds of a non converted audience. My idea is to bring everyone to the threshold of their understanding of the presented subject matter.

That’s the reason why my films are often open ended and allow the audience a two way communication with the ‘screen’.

I believe that after the viewing, one should feel stimulated and ready to make a change within oneself or to society at large.

- Ivan Gaal, March 2009.


Applause Please
Applause Please

All For The love Of it (1970, 8 mins, 16mm)

Thursday’s Children (1970, 25 mins,16 mm)

Camberwell Junction (1974, 5 mins, 16mm)

Applause Please (1974, 22 mins, 16mm)

Circus Nomads (1975, 22 mins, 16mm)

We the Proclaimers (1975, 25 mins, 16mm)

Soft Soap (1976, 35 mins, 16mm, & blown up to 35mm)

Jubilee and Beyond (1977, 15 mins, 16mm)

Eclipse (1977, 5 mins, 16mm)


The Punter (1978, 9 mins, 16mm)

Concerto for Ads and Heads (1979, 5 mins, 16mm)

Autism, Who Cares (1979, 22 mins, 16mm)

Getting the Message (1979, 30 mins, 1980)

Celebrations (1980, 30 mins, 1980)

Men of the Earth (1981, 25 mins, 16mm)

Tandberg on Page One (1982, 30 mins, 16mm)

The Age of Change (1983, 25 mins, 16mm)

Not Only to Save Our Jobs... (1983, 36 mins, 1" video)

No Turning Back (1984, 25 mins, 16mm)

Children with Special Abilities (1984, 29 mins, 16mm)

Ibrahim (1985, 30 mins, 16mm)

Tandberg on Page One
Tandberg on Page One

Peace in Action (1986, 20 mins, SP Video)

Meeting of Minds (1986, 25 mins, 16mm)

Give Us Space (1987, 25 mins, SP Video)

No More Secrets (1988, 25 mins, SP Video)

It’s Not All Rubbish (1989, 20 mins, SP Video)

Grey Paddle Power (2006, 22 mins, DVD)

Icing on the Cake (2010, 10 mins, DVD)

A Man From the Other Side (2016, 8 mins, 30 secs, DVD)

Camberwell Junction (1974, 5 mins, 16mm)
Applause Please (1974, 22 mins, 16mm)


Soft Soap
Soft Soap

The Tragedy of Tony …The Sun, March 5, 1980

A Film of Hope - Metro Magazine, 1981.

The Age of Change - Metro Magazine Issue 63

Buff’s Choice - The Age, 20.7.84. John Flaus & Paul Harris

At war in an alien school - by Dennis Pryor The Age 23.3.85.

A ‘wog’ faces new battle-the classroom - The Herald, 18.3.85.

Teaching film has lessons for all - by Barbara Hooks, Green Guide, The Age, 19.3.85.

Ivan Gaal by John Benson - Filmviews No 125, 1985

Mentor Program Grows - The Age 1.7.86

Homesafe - Education Victoria, Dec. 1987.

Sex abuse videos aim to aid the young -The Sun, 28.4.88.

Realities of child abuse shown and discussed - Green Guide, The Age, 28.4.88.


Penguin Awards - Education Victoria, 1989.

An inspirational record of paddle power - Fifty-plus News, Dec. 2006.

Interviews on SBS Hungarian Radio - 28.3.08.-18.4.08.-25.7.08.

Gaal captures ‘soul’ moments, by Jesse Graham, Mountain View Mail, November 21, 2016..

Applause Please (Ivan Gaal, 1975), by Tanya Farley, Senses of Cinema, March 2017.

Interview: Ivan Gaal on ‘A Man From the Other Side’, by Alison Ficklin, Documentary Drive, July 15, 2017.

People, Stories & Dance, by Ivan Gaal, photography book, 2018.

Comment, Think, Analyse, Experience and Learn: The Neglected Film Work of Ivan Gaal, by Adrian Martin, Film Critic: Adrian Martin, 2018.

Ivan Gaal with Jon Mayne


Ivan was selected for the Rome Olympic Games 1960 in the sport of canoeing.

In Canada, in 2005 Ivan won a World Masters Championship in double Canadian canoe class.

Received Award of Merit from Victorian Olympic Council, 2012.

See the documentary on Ivan called C-2, No Escape from the Old Canoe below.

C-2, No Escape from the Old Canoe (2013, 27 mins)

© Ivan Gaal and Bill Mousoulis, August 2022.

The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

Contact Ivan Gaal

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis