From an early age it was apparent as to Finneys interest in film.
From University, he moved straight into the industry appearing in the theatrical production “The coming of stork”. From there, Finney joined Roadshow film distributors working in advertising, publicity and promotions. It was at this stage where he, along with Tim Burstall, formed Hexagon productions. Here he served as associate producer in films such as Alvin Purple and Alvin Rides again (Shown Below). Finney even acted in these films as “Spike Dooley”… He is in the video below for a second! See if you can spot him.
Whilst he did appear in these films, acting was never Finneys forte. His ability to promote and market a film was not going unnoticed and, by 1980, Finney was in charge of national marketing and sales for Roadshow film distributors and in 1988, was appointed General Manager of Distribution and Marketing. Moreover, only 1 year later in 1989, he was appointed Executive Director of Village Roadshow film distributors.
During his time with Roadshow, Finney influenced and supervised the release of many Australian films including Mad Max, Mad Max 2, Romper Stomper and The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert – all of which were very successful Australian films.
Such expertise saw Buena Vista International (now Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Australia) poach Finney in 1998 to launch and head up their Australian and New Zealand operations where he was also successful.
Alan Finneys passion for film is clear, and more so, his passion for the Australian film industry is apparent. In fact, if nothing else, my research indicates exactly this. “BVI doesn’t have to take on Australian films but it does and one can only surmise that’s because Finney is there at the top”. He is portrayed as having an enormous commitment to what he does.
Currently, Alan Finney is still involved in the industry. He is the chairman of the board of directors at the AFI. Finney is well regarded as “one of the key forces behind the Australian film industry and is renowned for his passion for the production and promotion of films, particularly Australian features“. It was in recognition of these outstanding qualities that, in 2002, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal. A media release, presented on the day of his award, tells of how Russell Crowe referred to Alan Finney as “The godfather of Australian Film”.