Tēnā koutou. Kō Ingarihi, Kō Airihi, Kō Kotimana ōku iwi. Kō Kelly tōku hapu. Ko Emma taku ingoa.
My name is Emma Jean Kelly and I’m visiting Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive from Auckland, Aotearoa (New Zealand) for a month-long internship. The above introduction describes my roots as English, Irish and Scottish, New Zealand born.
I’m in Canberra to further develop research on Jonathan Dennis (1953-2002), the founding director of the New Zealand Film Archive Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua (The Guardians of the Treasured Images of Light.)
I’m particularly interested in the relationship between the NFSA and the NZFA in the 1980s while Jonathan was director of the archive and the later work he did in Australia that had a connection with the NFSA.
Jonathan was a colourful, passionate, opinionated cinephile who, with a dedicated group of similarly enthusiastic filmmakers and fans led Aotearoa to the realisation that preserving its film was important to developing a sense of our country’s history. It now seems unbelievable that Aotearoa did not establish a film archive until 1981.