In an unprecedented world premiere, the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has unveiled its most ambitious exhibition to date, Australians & Hollywood: A Tale of Craft, Talent, and Ambition.
Exclusive to Canberra and two years in the making, this is the NFSA’s first original show in two decades, and celebrates Australia’s contemporary cinematic, acting, and filmmaking success.
This blockbuster exhibition features never-before publicly seen props, costumes, original documents, and footage from the NFSA collection, as well as exclusive loans from the private collections of some of Australia’s most celebrated actors, cinematographers, and filmmakers.
From directors Baz Luhrmann and Rachel Perkins to Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, Australians & Hollywood delves into the work and talent of household names, while also showcasing our award‐winning filmmakers, and the craftsmen and women who have a huge impact on the global screen industry.
NFSA Chief Engagement Officer Matt Ravier says: ‘Australians have conquered Hollywood and global screens through talent, craftsmanship and ambition. With dozens of Australians part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, filmmakers such as George Miller and Baz Lurhmann hailed as visionaries, the likes of Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, and Cate Blanchett admired around the world, and First Nations storytellers like Rachel Perkins and Warwick Thornton the toast of international film festivals - there’s no denying the scale, diversity, and influence of 'Aussiewood'".
‘This exhibition is both a celebration and provocation to rethink Australian cinema: at home, in Hollywood and beyond. It is time for Australians to be invigorated and inspired by our cinematic success stories.’
Woven into Australians & Hollywood is an innovative digital layer, giving visitors a unique interactive experience as they journey through the exhibition, capturing on their phones virtual elements with which to create and explore as they head home.
The NFSA relaunched its temporary exhibition program in 2018 with Heath Ledger: A Life In Pictures. Since then it has also presented The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition (now touring across the country) and Mervyn Bishop: Australian Photojournalist, which is currently showing. Unlike previous exhibitions, which were collaborations with other museums and galleries, Australians & Hollywood is the first NFSA original exhibition in two decades, curated internally, and prominently featuring rarely-seen items from the collection, marking a shift in focus for the NFSA, as it aims to share more of its Australian treasures.
NFSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Eyers, says: ‘Australians & Hollywood represents an exciting step forward for the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia when it comes to engaging with the public and sharing our unique and rich collection. It will be fun and interactive, revealing a side of Hollywood you haven’t seen, while also showcasing Australia’s incomparable achievements on the global stage.
‘With Canberra poised to become the nation’s next movie hub, we hope as many people as possible are able to visit the Capital and the NFSA, and celebrate the incredible successes of contemporary Australian filmmakers, cinematographers, and actors.'
As Black Widow director Cate Shortland - featured in the exhibition - describes, ‘As a young filmmaker I would visit the Film and Sound Archive in Canberra and watch material that I could not get anywhere else. It was special. It is humbling to have my work included. It makes me feel I have lived a life. Collaborated with wonderful people. Been assisted by many. I hope my work inspires others to be brave and persist.’
The world premiere of Australians & Hollywood: A Tale of Craft, Talent, and Ambition will run from 4 December 2021, through to 25 April 2022 exclusive to Canberra, at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
The NFSA’s mission is to collect, preserve and share Australia’s vibrant and diverse audiovisual culture as embodied by our evolving collection – reflecting who we were, who we are, and who we want to be.
Audiovisual technologies enable us to capture moments in time: moving image and sounds in their most vivid forms. At over 3 million items, the NFSA collection transforms these records into ‘living memories’ – the many facets of Australia’s peoples, cultures, ideas and beliefs, both over time and across the land.
The collection invites all Australians to connect, no matter their background and life experiences, and find common ground and a shared sense of community. All can access it to celebrate our cultures and learn from our history to build a better future.
The NFSA collection dates back to 1700s pre-cinema magic lanterns, and includes everything from the earliest surviving moving images and recorded sounds (both from 1896: Le Patineur Grotesque and The Hen Convention, respectively), through to the latest digital productions across film, TV, radio, music, video games and new media.