Increase people’s engagement with the collection through public programs, education activities, and national and international partnerships
1A.1 Deliver public programs, screenings and education activities both nationally and internationally
|75,000 visits to the organisation*
|13,500 people participating in public programs*
|20,000 students participating in school programs**
|90% of teachers reporting overall positive experience**
|90% of teachers reporting relevance to the classroom curriculum**
|NFSA Education Strategy successfully implemented
|Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 5 and PBS page 161
*PBS 2017–18 target
** PBS 2017–18 target and DoCA KPI
What we achieved
In 2017–18 a total of 42,821 people participated in NFSA public programs, screenings and education activities, exceeding our annual target. Our programs offer a mix of screenings, presentations, live performances and events that reach audiences throughout Australia, including regional and remote communities as well as internationally.
The year 2017–18 saw the greatest profile to date for our NFSA Restores program, which digitises, restores and preserves classic Australian films to the highest archival standards, allowing them to be seen in today’s digital cinemas.
At the Melbourne International Film Festival 2017, we premiered our restoration of Shame (Steve Jodrell, 1988). The screening on 13 August was introduced by its star, Deborra-lee Furness, and supported by cast and crew from the production, including Jodrell and Simone Buchanan.
Digby Duncan’s camera captured the first Mardi Gras parade in 1978 and our restoration of her documentary Witches and Faggots, Dykes and Poofters (1980) enjoyed a sold–out screening at the Sydney Queerscreen Festival on 25 February 2018. The film enjoyed similar success at screenings in Canberra and Brisbane.
Our digital restoration of My Brilliant Career (1979) screened at the Sydney Film Festival 2018 on 13 June where NFSA Ambassador Margaret Pomeranz hosted a Q&A with director Gillian Armstrong. The film also screened at Arc cinema, where costume designer Anna Senior shared memories of the production.
We also debuted restorations of silent films including The Cheaters (Paulette McDonagh, 1929) and three films featuring Reginald ‘Snowy’ Baker—The Man From Kangaroo (Wilfred Lucas, 1919), The Sword of Valor (Duke Worne, USA, 1924) and The Empire Builders (Duke Worne, USA, 1924). The Cheaters premiered at Arc cinema in January with a live jazz score from musician Joe Dolezal. The three Snowy Baker films debuted at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane on Anzac Day, all three with a live score from pianist Mauro Colombis.
Our restorations toured the country with screenings of the documentaries For Love Or Money (Megan McMurchy, Margot Nash, Margot Oliver and Jeni Thornley, 1983), Rocking the Foundations (Pat Fiske, 1985) and My Survival as an Aboriginal (Essie Coffey, 1978).
A number of NFSA Restores titles were screened at international events including The Year My Voice Broke (John Duigan, 1987) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, My Brilliant Career and Starstruck (Gillian Armstrong, 1982) at the Swedish Film Institute, My Brilliant Career at the TCM Classics Festival in Los Angeles, Starstruck and Shame at the Australian Screen Forum in New York and Three Days to Live (Tom Gibson, USA, 1924) at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival 2017, Italy.
Right There On My TV
Our Right There On My TV event at the St Kilda Film Festival on 21 May 2018 looked at the early days of Australian music television and featured guests John Paul Young, Greg Evans and Lee Simon. Our TV curators developed a showreel of 1970s programs that championed music and music videos. Lee Simon shared memories of his successful Nightmoves while Greg Evans talked about the pilot episode of the unaired show Soundcheck.
National and International Screening Loans
Through our screening loan services we provide national and international access to rare prints of Australian and non-Australian titles.
During the year we provided 20 different films for 17 international venues reaching total audiences of more than 2986 people. Venues included the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Arava Film Festival in Israel.
Nationally, we loaned 62 titles to 16 cinemas. Total audiences for theatrical screenings exceeded 10,032 people. Highlights included loans to the Melbourne Women in Film Festival, the Castlemaine Local and International Film Festival, the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, the Australian Cinematheque in Melbourne and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. Our Non-Theatrical Lending Collection (NTLC) provides low-cost loans to film societies, community groups, public libraries, cultural institutions, schools and universities.
This collection of over 18,000 titles represents significant Australian and world cinema. The NTLC comprises feature, short, documentary, educational and experimental film on formats including DVD, Blu-ray and 16mm film. In 2017–18 we loaned over 847 film titles that were screened by 119 organisations across Australia to audiences in excess of 16,305 people.
Black Screen provides free community access to contemporary short films and documentaries by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander directors, producers and screenwriters. The program remains in high demand around the country, part of an ever-increasing awareness of—and desire for—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and films. Black Screen events are often part of community celebrations and festivals in regional and remote areas, such as NAIDOC Week, Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week. Attendance at Black Screen for 2017–18 totalled 4066, achieving our target.
Since 2009 we have presented the Australian Mediatheque with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, giving access to a large collection of audio and video content from the NFSA and ACMI collections. The Mediatheque closed on 17 September 2017 and we continue to work closely with ACMI to deliver our collection material in fresh and innovative ways.
From 1 July to 30 September 2017 there were 4551 visitors to the Mediatheque.
Arc cinema and Canberra public programs
At Arc cinema in Canberra we present the diversity of Australian and international classic and contemporary cinema. As well as having a 4K digital projector, Arc is the only cinema in Canberra that continues to screen celluloid film, and one of only a handful nationally. During the year Arc hosted many key national touring film festivals and our own curated program.
Highlights for 2017–18 included:
- Mabo: Life of an Island Man (Trevor Graham, 1997) 5 July 2017
- Pandora’s Box (GW Pabst, Germany, 1924)—accompanied by a live string quartet led by Jen Anderson and playing her score 7 July 2017
- People of the Western Desert (1965, 1967)—including discussion with filmmaker Ian Dunlop 21–22 July 2017
- Breaking of the Drought (Franklyn Barrett, 1920)—with live musical score from Canberra musician Joe Dolezal and band 8 August 2017
- a talk about Hollywood actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr for National Science Week 16 August 2017
- The Year My Voice Broke (John Duigan, 1987) and Flirting (John Duigan, 1991)—introduced by cinematographer Geoff Burton 26 August 2017
- Arab Film Festival 1–2 September 2017
- Dario Argento—a season of films by the Italian horror maestro in partnership with Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art 20–29 September 2017
- Czech and Slovak Film Festival 11–14 October 2017
- Canberra International Film Festival 25 October– 6 November 2017
- Iranian Film Festival 18–19 November 2017
- Circus home movies—presented by NFSA curator Tara Marynowsky as part of the ANU conference ‘Science and Circus’ 4 April 2018
- Music video trivia night hosted by our music curators 14 April 2018
- In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America (Maurice Fitzpatrick, Ireland, 2017)—screened in partnership with Embassy of Ireland 24 April 2018
- a season of jazz films including Rolf de Heer’s Dingo (1991) May 2018
- The Story of the Kelly Gang (Charles Tait, 1906)—with a live performance of voices and sound effects developed by our education staff and filmed for the History Channel series Aussie Inventions 21 May 2018
- Black Divaz (Adrian Russell Wills, 2018)—documentary screening about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drag queens followed by live performances and Q&A with artists from the film 1 June 2018.
We also continued to host regular public programs and weekly screenings. These include the popular monthly Vinyl Lounge, where vinyl lovers bring their favourite records to share, and our consistently sold-out Ghost Tours of the NFSA Headquarters.
During summer 2017–18, we supported the exhibition ‘Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits’ with a program of films and talks. Guest presenters included Ann Turner (Celia, 17 November), David Elfick (Rabbit-Proof Fence, 6 December), Bruce Smeaton (The Cars That Ate Paris, 8 December), Rolf de Heer (The Tracker, 15 December), Judith Dorsman (Caddie, 8 January), Anna Senior (The Getting of Wisdom, 9 January), Richard Lowenstein and Glenys Rowe (Dogs in Space, 13 January).
Engaging with students
Our popular Canberra-based schools program won the 2018 Canberra Region Tourism Award for Best Education Program. The prize reflects the hard work of our Education team in building new programs directly targeting areas of the Australian Curriculum not presented at other cultural and tourism destinations.
A total of 13,315 students from across Australia enjoyed our live presentations.
While this total did not meet our target of 20, 000 it was an increase on our 2016-17 total of 13, 056. This target was ambitious and based on our strong repeat business. However, as most school bookings are made in advance, our bookings are still reflecting the two years we closed school bookings while we reviewed and redeveloped our programs.
NFSA Education Strategy
We engaged Venture Consulting to develop a long-term Education Strategy for the NFSA. In their final report (December 2017) Venture Consulting recommended that we broaden the scope of the project and investigate more expansive modes of educational engagement through partnerships and online platforms. It is expected that the strategy will be completed in the second half of 2018-19.