This is an excerpt from director Ted Kotcheff's introduction to the premiere screening of the restored Wake in Fright at the NFSA in 2009.
He describes the long and arduous search for the missing film negatives, undertaken by the editor of Wake in Fright, Anthony Buckley. After six years, Buckley finally located the original materials in Pittsburgh, USA in bins marked 'for destruction'.
Kotcheff describers the poor condition in which the negatives were found and credits the efforts of Anthos Simon at Atlab/Deluxe for painstakingly digitally restoring the negative over a two-year period.
Sound elements for the film were pieced together by NFSA audio technicians with the assistance of Soundfirm to remix the soundtrack.
The fully restored Wake in Fright premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, in the Cannes Classics program, on 15 May 2009. The film had originally screened in competition at Cannes in 1971.
Notes by Stephen Groenewegen