The Canberra Short Film Festival has officially kicked off! And already some amazing local and international filmmakers have had a chance to screen their amazing work, ranging from short films and documentaries to music videos and animations.

Creator of Canberra’s only video magazine Mustard Flats, Nic Vevers premiered a documentary on local nightclub Academy, which features never before seen footage of the famous venue and its DJ’s. Dubbing it a ‘superclub’, The Academy Story tells the unknown history of one of Canberra’s most iconic nightclub venues.

Vevers decided Academy’s story needed to be told after attending the closing night in 2018 and witnessing first-hand what an impact it had on everyone there.

“So much talent and history had passed through those doors and I think it’s important to keep a record of that sort of stuff because it really changed the music culture in Canberra,” he said.

“Nothing like it had been seen in Australia at the time, a venue so ambitious most thought it wouldn’t last a year. Over 15 years the club evolved through vinyl, myspace, music festivals and ushered in the rise of EDM.”

During its prime, Academy set the industry standard for scale, production and sound, and through its growth in the mid-noughties it straddled a new era in technology and how people consumed music. From its famous foam parties to attracting some of the biggest dance acts of the times, including Diplo, Calvin Harris, Kid Kenobi and Hook n Sling, Academy attracted huge crowds of music lovers. Most recently before its closure, it also was the place of origin for a number of local talent, including The Aston Shuffle and Peking Duk.

Taking you through the beginnings and the story of the nightclub, the documentary features some of those who were there through it all, from General Manager Partner Frank Condi, Bar Manager and later Part Owner Laurence Kain, VJ Jim Medcraft and Marketing, Events, Bookings and DJ Chris Fraser.

After its closure, Academy’s legacy still lives on in local institutions started by the club’s alumni. Lazy Su, Capital Brewing Co, Kicks Entertainment, Public and Edgars Inn all have their roots in the Academy venue. Not to mention everyone who grew up in the space week after week, where relationships were born, communities developed and artists inspired.


The full documentary is now available to watch: