The 1970s

Foley at 1978 Cannes Film Festival - May 1978

In 1978 the Australian film Backroads was praised at the Berlin Film Festival by such luminaries of German new wave cinema as Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. Consequently Gary Foley managed to con an air fare to the Cannes Film Festival later that year on the basis of his starring role in Backroads. . He arrived at Cannes with 30 English Pounds in his pocket, met up with Bill Hunter and Phil Noyce and lived like a king for two weeks. He left Cannes with 20 of the original 30 Pounds intact.

To make some money to get to london and a screening of Backroads at the British Film Theatre, he took photographs and wrote articles for the London expatriate newspaper the Australasian Express.

The connections made by Foley with German Directors Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders in Cannes that year led to a significant political alliance between the German "Greens" Movement and the Indigenous political struggle in Australia. It also directly resulted in the establishment of a London-based Aboriginal Information Centre in 1979.

Below are some of the photos taken by Foley and his mates at the Cannes Film Festival that year.

click on image for enlargement

Cannes beachfront

Chard Haywood, Roger Ward & Bill Hunter

Street Performer

Foley, John Waters & Bill Hunter

producer Richard Brennan

Curtis Levy

Peter Beilby

Gary Foley and Lyn Helms

Esben Storm

Roger Ward & Bill Hunter

Nick Tate

Phil Noyce

Hunter & Di Fischer

Hunter & Peter Sumner

Roger Ward

Peter Sumner and Jack Thompson

Di Fischer & John Michael Howsen

Pat Lovell

Foley & Fred Schepsi

The Aussies favourite watering hole in 1978

Publicity for the "Chant"


Billy Hunter

Villa rented by Australian actors

1970s index