Jan Kenny ACS

Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 2004

Jan Kenny has been involved in the Australian film industry since 1967 when she joined the Commonwealth Film Unit. In 1985 she became the first woman to shoot a feature in Australia with the film Fran, and in 1986 she was the first woman to be accredited by the Australian Cinematographers Society. Since taking over as Head of Cinematography at AFTRS in 1997, Kenny’s contribution to the School was invaluable and her reputation both nationally and internationally continued to grow. Not only did she strengthen the School’s relationships with major sponsors, including Kodak, Atlab, The Lab and Panavision, but she attracted many world-class guest lecturers including John Seale ACS ASC, Russell Boyd ACS ASC Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC, Peter James ACS ASC and also taught in Vietnam, China, South Korea and New Zealand on behalf of the School.

When Jan was inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame she said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue my contribution to the development of new young talent at AFTRS. Australian cinematographers have really made a mark on the international arena over the past few years, and several of them being graduates of the Cinematography Department of AFTRS.”

How life has changed for Jan Kenny ACS since she was brought to Australia from Dorset, England when she was just 18 months old. Her love for motion picture production came from many nights at one of the three drive-in cinemas in Albany Western Australia with her parents, watching the movies through the windscreen and many times with the windscreen wipers going during heavy rain. This evolved into her dreaming of a future career in the Australian film industry.

With 14 feature films behind her, more than 20 documentaries and 80 commercials as loader and focus puller, then as Director of Photography, Jan Kenny has shot approximately 30 hours of film television drama, 2 feature films, and many documentaries and commercials. She has been 2nd DOP on 10 features, including the award winning We of the Never-Never.

From January 1997 to 2009, Jan was Head of Cinematography at The Australian Film Television and Radio School. She has been included in the Australian Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame and in May 2004 Jan was inducted into the Australian Cinematographers Society Hall of Fame. In 2009 Jan was presented with a special award by the ACS for “Outstanding Service to the ACS and the Australian Film Industry”.