The Office Picnic

The Office Picnic
Directed by Tom Cowan
Produced by Tom Cowan
Written by Tom Cowan
Starring John Wood
Kate Fitzpatrick
Cinematography Michael Edols
Edited by Kit Guyatt
Child's Play Moving Picture Company
Distributed by Tom Cowan
Release dates
  • 17 November 1972 (1972-11-17)
Running time
83 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$30,000[1]

The Office Picnic is a 1972 Australian comedy film directed by Tom Cowan. It was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.[2]

Plot summary

A group of public servants go on an annual picnic. Two of them, Peter and Elly, disappear.



Cowan got the idea to make the film while walking through the bush during shooting of a documentary in the Victorian countryside.[3] He says he was also influenced by the novels of Patrick White and the films of Antonioni.[4]

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.[3]


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.[1][3]


  1. 1 2 Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998 p266
  2. "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  3. 1 2 3 David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p184-185
  4. Interview with Tom Cowan, 12 November 1998 accessed 11 Oct 2012
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