Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice on stage at the NFSA for a Q&A after a 30th anniversary screening of Strictly Ballroom in 2022

Deep Dive: Strictly Ballroom

Deep Dive: Strictly Ballroom – Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice at the NFSA

Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice at the NFSA
 Karina Libbey

In September 2022, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, Australia, 1992), and the NFSA Restores restoration for the anniversary, the NFSA threw the film a party!  

We invited guests to see items from the film on display in our Australians & Hollywood exhibition, have a drink in our beautiful courtyard, enjoy some amazing ballroom dance performances, and even dress up in their best ballroom attire. The competition was fierce!

Following the sold-out screening of the film, our audience was thrilled to welcome lead stars Tara Morice and Paul Mercurio on stage for a Q&A, moderated by Public Engagement Manager, Karina Libbey. The conversation was fantastic; Tara and Paul were exceptionally friendly and generous in sharing their experience of making the film and entertained us with many enjoyable anecdotes. Take a listen to the full audio:

Tara Morice and Paul Mercurio in conversation with Karina Libbey at the NFSA about Strictly Ballroom, September 2022.


You can see images from Strictly Ballroom – The Party in the image gallery below:


Strictly Ballroom was the award-winning debut feature film of internationally acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann (ELVIS) and has become one of the most beloved Australian films of all time. It had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992, where it received a 15-minute standing ovation. 

Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio) is a ballroom dancer with innovative steps and a penchant for breaking the rules. When his impulsive behaviour on the dance floor causes him to lose his dance partner, Liz Holt (Gia Carides), Fran (Tara Morice) from the beginners’ class offers to step up to replace her. Together, Scott and Fran embark on a journey to prove the judges wrong and to dance their own steps at the Pan Pacific Grand Prix. 

The restoration process for NFSA Restores: Strictly Ballroom included the involvement of the film’s 2 key creatives – producer Tristram Miall and director Baz Luhrmann, and the restored version was selected to screen at the 75th Cannes Film Festival as part of the Cannes Classics program.  

Dive into more incredible content about Strictly Ballroom through our online curated collection, which includes interviews with key talent, costume sketches and other wonderful behind-the-scenes treasures.  

And when you are next in Canberra, you can see items from the film on display in our Australians & Hollywood exhibition.