Ossie Emery ACS

Ossie Emery ACS was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

A humanitarian, film-maker, cinematographer and photographer for over 65 years, Ossie Emery documented the richness and complexity of human life across a huge range of cultures. He leaves behind a large legacy of work having filmed on 143 international assignments filming, on every continent of the world. In April 2017 Ossie held a photographic exhibition ‘From the Edge’ in Exeter a small town in the NSW Southern Highlands. A collection of over 300 very powerful black and white prints, which documented those 143 trips to some of the world’s most remote places was testament to his extraordinary “eye” and his capacity to capture the right moment.

Still photography moved on to short 16mm films and then in 1956 the opportunity that changed his life – an assignment to make a Documentary in four locations in Arnhem Land about the Church of England’s work among Aborigines. He was Director, Cameraman, Editor and with the ‘help’ of Kinelab, making the soundtrack and release prints it was a success and he was on his way.

Two films in Africa, and another in Pakistan and then one in South India followed, all on the same basis. Suggest a script, shoot, edit and finish.

Needing more equipment he was also meeting senior cinematographers who were just forming the ACS and he became involved. He spent years on the Committee and helped write the Constitution and became the ACS Representative on the Industry Committee to advise the Government on the formation of a Film & Television School. On November 25th 1963 Ossie received his letters, becoming Ossie Emery ACS, the 5th Accredited member of the ACS.

From simple beginnings, Ossie became Company Director of Pilgrim Films which at its peak had a staff of twenty-eight. Making short dramatic films, animated films and education films for schools. Video cameras arrived and he went freelance for a couple of years forming the company EVS, financed by the IPEC Federal Hotels group.

There were thirty trips into New Guinea and the Pacific, seventy trips into Africa including nineteen of these into Ethiopia. Ossie said ”None of this would have been possible without my wife and my family. Beautiful Cynthia has been a stoic rock and weathered alongside me through the many years on the road, abroad and in the studio.

She raised our 4 talented children who bring us endless pride and joy. Not to mention our grandchildren and their partners too. Many of you have chosen to embrace a creative life and I hope to have had some small part to play in growing these talents and passions.”

He finished with credits of one kind or another on some 400 documentaries and TV specials.
“The things you learn along the way…reconstructive surgery, birth of a baby, starving children in the third world and much more. 
You want to know about some of these things – ask some old documentary cinematographer, he’ll tell you. Ossie Emery ACS