A young boy in collared shirt and vest stands in front of a closed wooden door, looking quizzical

August at Arc Cinema

Arc Cinema Program at the NFSA – August 2021

Canberra Screenings and Events
 Matt Kemp

Please note: the NFSA is closed for 7 days from 13 August at 10:00am, following directives from the ACT Government. Events scheduled to fall during this period have regrettably been cancelled.

Extraordinary true stories

August at the NFSA brings true stories about the fight for equality, the joys and heartbreaks that unite us all and achievements through art.

For National Homeless Week, we are partnering with the Clemente Canberra Program and the St Vincent de Paul Society to present a special screening of A Reckoning in Boston about breaking the cycle of poverty, inequality and social injustice (6 August).

Our Doco of the Month – Girls Can't Surf – is the inspiring story of the renegade women who took on the male-dominated professional surfing world in the 1980s to achieve equality and change the sport forever (12 August).

To celebrate our current exhibition on Mervyn Bishop, the photographer behind many of Australia's iconic moments, we’re screening several documentaries that explore what makes a great photographer (13 to 15 August). Book your Mervyn Bishop exhibition tickets online and save up to 25%.

Other intriguing stories drawn from real life at Arc this month include a double bill as part of our Saturday Screenings program in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia: see Flamingo Park, about Australian fashion designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, followed by Unfolding Florence, which explores the mysterious death of designer Florence Broadhurst (7 August).

For National Science Week, meet Hatidze Muratova in Honeyland, the last in a line of Macedonian wild beekeepers (14 August). 

Taste of Iran

At the end of the month, we look at the inventive and deeply humanistic films of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. In partnership with ACMI and the Sydney Film Festival, we will be screening six of his films (27 to 29 August). You can purchase individual tickets, a Season Pass for all six films, or a three-ticket pass for the Koker Trilogy.

Our Aussie Indies screening this month is an open-captioned session of Unbound, about a musician who becomes involved with a young, deaf trans man (6 August). For our Friday Matinee, we're screening a 35mm print of The Shiralee (1957), with Peter Finch as the wandering swaggie who learns to take responsibility for a daughter he hardly knows (27 August).

Kids can enjoy onsite games and activities after our Saturday Morning Cartoons session of The Croods: A New Age (7 August). After the latest instalment of The Story of Film, marvel at the technical achievement of Russian Ark, filmed in one take in St Petersburg's magnificent Winter Palace (21 August).

Last, but definitely not least, we continue our series of interactive, ‘Arc out loud’ screenings with the mind-bending, divisive and utterly bonkers 80s cult classic Dune, directed by David Lynch (20 August). See it in 35mm on the big screen before Denis Villeneuve's take hits cinemas in October.

So help us see off winter with some incredible stories from all over the globe. Click on the links below to book.


National Homeless Week: A Reckoning in Boston – 6 August, 11am

The Vinyl Lounge – 6 August, 5:30pm

Aussie Indies: Unsound – 6 August, 6pm

Saturday Morning Cartoons – The Croods: A New Age – 7 August, 10:30am

Saturday Screenings: Flamingo Park + Unfolding Florence 35mm – 7 August, 2pm

Doco of the Month: Girls Can’t Surf – 12 August, 6pm CANCELLED

Focus on Photography: Finding Vivian Maier – 13 August, 6pm CANCELLED

Focus on Photography: The Salt of the Earth – 14 August, 2pm CANCELLED

National Science Week: Honeyland – 14 August, 6pm CANCELLED

Focus on Photography: Bill Cunningham New York – 15 August, 2pm CANCELLED

Arc Out Loud: Dune – 20 August, 8pm

The Story of Film: Cinema Today and the Future – 21 August, 1pm

Russian Ark 35mm – 21 August, 2:30pm

Friday Matinee: The Shiralee 35mm – 27 August, 10:30am

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: Taste of Cherry – 27 August, 6pm

NFSA Ghost Tour – 27 August, 8pm SOLD OUT

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: Where is the Friend’s House? – 28 August, 2pm

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: And Life Goes On… – 28 August, 4pm

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: Through the Olive Trees – 28 August, 7pm

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: The Wind Will Carry Us – 29 August, 2pm

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: Ten – 29 August, 4:30pm

The Films of Abbas Kiarostami: Season tickets and Koker Trikogy tickets


Main image: Where is the Friend’s House? (Khan-ye Doust Kodjast?)