Australia day protests

Australia Daze: restored documentary to screen across Australia

  • Award-winning film Australia Daze, which documented the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia, has been digitally restored by the NFSA and will screen in cinemas across the country on 26 - 27 January 2021. 

Where were you on 26 January 1988?

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), as part of its NFSA Restores program, has restored landmark observational documentary Australia Daze. The digital restoration will screen on 26 January 2021 in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Alice Springs and Darwin, and in Melbourne on 27 January.

The production of Australia Daze involved dozens of camera crews across the nation, filming from midnight to midnight on 26 January 1988, in order to capture the many facets of the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia. From First Fleet re-enactments to Indigenous protests, backyard barbeques to royal visits, Australia Daze chronicles a broad array of events on that historic day and diverse voices and perspectives from across Australian society. 

Australia Daze is a snapshot of one day in the millennia-long history of the country. The film is an opportunity for Australians to remember where they were, or to catch a glimpse of Australia’s past before they were born or arrived here. It is a chance to reflect on how much things have changed in 33 years - and also how little has changed.

"One of our roles is to ensure that our collection is shared with audiences so that they may be empowered to interpret the past, form their own opinions about Australia’s history and culture, and make decisions regarding our present and future," said NFSA Chief Curator Gayle Lake.

"In preserving and sharing Australia Daze, we ensure audiences can revisit the conversation that was had in 1988, engage with it in the context of today and ensure it remains accessible for years to come."

Australia Daze is the latest Australian film brought to life by the NFSA Restores program, which digitises, restores and preserves significant Australian films at the highest archival standards. It also ensures that they can be screened in today's digital cinemas. 

NFSA Restores Ambassador Margaret Pomeranz said that Australia Daze is a "glorious kaleidoscope" of Australia and its multicultural society. 

"Australia Daze looks at what it means to be an Australian on this one day of the year," Ms Pomeranz said. "It’s heart-warming and insightful and bloody fabulous."

"Films don’t last forever; colours fade, and soundtracks disintegrate," said Australia Daze director Pat Fiske. "For the past six years, the NFSA has come to the rescue with their digital restoration work. This is our history, and extremely important to preserve."

The Sydney screening will feature a special panel Q&A with director Pat Fiske, producer Graeme Isaac, and Greig Pickhaver (aka HG Nelson). The Canberra screening will also be followed by a Q&A with section director Erika Addis.

Screening information and ticket details are available at the event page.

Trailer, stills and clips for media use available at: 

More information and interviews are available. Please contact NFSA Publicity Officer Katharine Nicholson at, (02) 6248 2248 or 0429 223 927.



When: Tuesday 26 January, 1.00 pm.

Where: Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Cinema A, Stanley Place, South Brisbane.

Alice Springs

When: Tuesday 26 January, 2.00 pm.

Where: Araluen Arts Centre, 61 Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs.


When: Tuesday 26 January, 6.00 pm

Where: Arc Cinema, NFSA, McCoy Circuit, Acton.


When: Tuesday 26 January, 6.00 pm

Where: BCC Cinemas Casuarina, Casuarina Square Shopping Centre, 247 Trower Road, Casuarina.


When: Tuesday 26 January, 6:30 pm.

Where: Dendy Cinemas, 261-263 King Street, Newtown.


When: Wednesday 27 January, 6:30 pm.

Where: Big Screen, Federation Square (presented with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image).


NFSA Restores digitises, restores and preserves - at the highest archival standards - classic and cult Australian films so they can be screened in today’s digital cinemas. The NFSA utilises the best available original picture and sound materials from the NFSA's collection and around the world. The NFSA works with restoration partners and copyright owners to ensure that audiences around Australia can enjoy these restored films.

Restored feature films include My Brilliant Career (1979), Shame (1988), The Year My Voice Broke (1987), Gallipoli (1981), Storm Boy (1976), Starstruck (1982), Bliss (1985) and Proof (1991), as well as silent films such as The Sentimental Bloke (1919), which have been screened at various film festivals and events. Proof was restored with the public’s help through a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Restored documentaries include Witches and Faggots, Dykes and Poofters (1980), My Survival as an Aboriginal (1978), Rocking the Foundations (1985), and Eternity (1995).  

For more information, visit NFSA Restores