Strategic priority 1: A ‘living’ archive – for everyone

Results against our Corporate Plan and Portfolio Budget Statements

Our collection needs to be accessible, interpreted and shared so it forms an ongoing part of the evolution of our culture and not simply stored materials that are ‘frozen in time’. Our cultural programs are national in scale, and founded in the national audiovisual collection. They celebrate our screen and sound heritage, reflect the Australian experience, and share our history promoting greater cultural diversity. Working in an inclusive, collaborative manner with communities and partners will ensure that the stories in the collection are communicated as widely and as deeply as possible.

Outcome: Australia’s national audiovisual collection is accessible to all for enjoyment, study and cultural and creative re-use.

Table 1: Strategic priority 1: A ‘living’ archive – for everyone
Objective Initiatives/strategies to achieve against outcome and objectives,
2016–17 to 2019–20
Target 2016–17 Result 2016–17
Objective 1A: Increase people's engagement with the collection through public programs, educational activities, and national and international partnerships 1A.1 Deliver public programs, screenings and education activities both nationally and internationally as part of our community engagement strategy and
three-year plan
75,000 visits to the organisation* 121,006
90% of visitors who were satisfied 81%
13,500 people participating in public programs** 36,194
12% of the total collection available to the public** 16%
33,500 students participating in school programs** 13,056
400 educational institutions participating in organised school learning programs** 347
90% of teachers reporting overall positive experience** 93%
90% of teachers reporting relevance to the classroom curriculum** 94%
Objective 1B: Develop and online presence that is contemporary, relevant and imaginative and which facilitates access to the collection 1B.1 Redevelop nfsa.gov.au to be contemporary, relevant and facilitate access to the collection 1,500,000 visits to the organisation’s website** 1,375,055
1 million YouTube views 2,025,639
10 million Facebook users
(daily reach)
13,920,509
1B.2 Use digital delivery to extend and deepen off-site and online visitor experiences Increase in the number of online and offsite visitor experiences offered Achieved
Objective 1C: Maintain a physical presence in all states and territories enabling access to the collection and our programs 1C.1 Work with partner organisations to develop and deliver a mobile access hub engaging the public with collection material and NFSA programs in a range of venues  across Australia Collaboration is initiated to develop project plan for a mobile access hub Achieved
1C.2 Maintain a physical presence via office spaces and access centres in each state and territory Physical presence maintained in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra Achieved
Objective 1D: Promote (creative) use and re-use of the national collection 1D.1 Develop a contemporary orphan works policy and update our rights management framework to ensure we confidently increase our ability to share and use collection content A contemporary orphan works policy is developed and rights management framework updated Achieved
1D.2 Establish an artist-in-residency or curator-in-residency program Established a virtual
artist-in-residency through
our Take Three initiative
Achieved

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20 page 6 and Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) page 170
* Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17 target
** Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17 target and Department of Communications and the Arts (DoCA)
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

 

Objective 1A.1

Increase people’s engagement with the collection through public programs,education activities, and national and international partnerships

1A.1 Deliver public programs, screenings and education activities both nationally and internationally as part of our community engagement strategy and three-year plan

Target Result
75,000 visits to the organisation* 121,006
90% of visitors who were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit** 81%
13,500 people participating in public programs** 36,194
12% of the total collection available
to the public**
16%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
page 6 and PBS page 170

*PBS 2016–17 target

**PBS 2016–17 target and DoCA KPI

 

What we achieved

In 2016–17 a total of 121,006 people participated in our public programs, screenings and education activities, national and international screenings, visits to Mediatheque and state access centres, exceeding our target. Our programs are an exciting mix of screenings, presentations, live performances and events that reach audiences throughout Australia, including regional and remote communities, and also internationally.

National and international screenings

In 2016–17 NFSA Restores continued to go from strength to strength. NFSA Restores is our program to digitise, restore and preserve film, at the highest archival standards. This achieves the goal for classic and cult Australian films and documentaries to be seen in today’s digital cinemas. On 29 July 2016 we premiered our digital restoration of Proof (1991) to a sold-out audience at the Melbourne International Film Festival, where star Hugo Weaving and director Jocelyn Moorhouse joined NFSA Ambassador Margaret Pomeranz for a Q&A (see the case study on page 47). The associated media campaign reached over 1.5 million people in Australia.

In June 2017 the demand for NFSA Restores films tripled at the Sydney Film Festival. At this event we premiered The Year My Voice Broke (1987) to a sold-out audience in addition to two documentaries: Rocking the Foundations (1985) and My Survival as an Aboriginal (1978).

At the other end of the spectrum of cinematic experience, we brought celluloid back to Tasmania. On 25 June 2017 we partnered with MONA’s Dark MOFO Festival in Hobart and screened the silent Swedish horror film, Häxan (1925), with live musical accompaniment from Maria Moles. The 16mm film is from our collection, as were the two projectors we transported to Tasmania for the unique screening.

Our Graham Kennedy: the King of TV event at the St Kilda Film Festival on 21 May 2017 featured a panel of special guests, including Patti Newton, Philip Brady, Mike McColl Jones and Pete Smith. The festival’s opening night included a Kennedy showreel produced by the NFSA which was screened to an audience of 2,000 people at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda. The associated media campaign reached over 1 million people in Australia. This event also accompanied our Graham Kennedy online exhibition (see 1B.2 for details).

Through our screening loan services we provide national and international access to often rare prints of Australian and non-Australian titles.

During the year we provided 17 different films for nine international venues reaching total audiences of more than 3,518 people. Venues included Italy’s Pordenone Silent Film Festival and the Asian International Short Film Festival held in Seoul, South Korea.

Nationally, we loaned 86 titles to 15 national cinemas. Total audiences for theatrical screenings nationally exceeded 16,939 people. Highlights of the national screening loans program included the Perth International Arts Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne’s World of Women Festival, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, the Australian Cinematheque in Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

Our Non-Theatrical Lending Collection (NTLC) provides a low-cost loans service to film societies, community groups, public libraries, cultural institutions, schools and universities.

This collection of over 22,000 titles, built over six decades, represents significant Australian and world cinema. The NTLC comprises feature, short, documentary, educational and experimental film on access formats that include DVD, blu-ray and 16mm film. In 2016–17 over 1,000 film titles were borrowed from the NTLC and screened across Australia to audiences in excess of 16,682 people.

Black Screen

Black Screen provides free community access to contemporary short films and documentaries by Indigenous directors, producers and screenwriters. The program remains in high demand around the country, part of an ever-increasing awareness of – and desire for – Indigenous stories and films. Black Screen events are often part of community events, celebrations and festivals in regional and remote areas, such as NAIDOC Week, Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week. Attendance at Black Screen for 2016–17 totalled 3,582, achieving our target.

Australian Mediatheque

Since 2009 we have joined forces with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne to present the Australian Mediatheque, which gives access to a huge collection of audio and video content from the NFSA and ACMI collections. From early footage of the Melbourne Cup and the landmark film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), to award-winning animation and short films, visitors can access moving image content for research, learning and entertainment. The Australian Mediatheque continues to draw high visitor numbers, with more than 20,837 people visiting the centre in 2016–17.

Arc cinema and Canberra public programs

Our Canberra Headquarters hosts Australia’s finest archival film theatre – Arc cinema – where we present the diversity of Australian and international screen heritage and contemporary cinema. As well as having a 4K digital projector, Arc is the only cinema in Canberra that continues to screen celluloid film, and one of only a handful nationally. During the year Arc continued to host many key national touring film festivals and our own curated program.

Highlights for 2016–17 included:

  • Scorsese – a season of Martin Scorsese’s greatest works  presented in association with David Stratton, Sydney Film Festival and ACMI 1–24 July 2016
  • Arab Film Festival 5–7 August 2016
  • Shine (1996) 20th anniversary screening and concert – the Academy Award-winning film was followed by a Q&A with star Geoffrey Rush, director Scott Hicks, producer Jane Scott and screenwriter Jan Sardi on 13 August 2016, with pianist David Helfgott live in concert on 14 August 2016
  • Conway and Zygier: the Beginning and the Begging – Deborah Conway live in concert at the NFSA on 16 September 2016
  • Malcolm (1986) 30th Anniversary screening and exhibition – the award-winning film was followed by a Q&A with director Nadia Tass and writer David Parker on 25 September 2016, and a pop-up exhibition
  • (25 September – 9 October 2016) which included the largest item in our collection from the film: the getaway car that splits in two
  • NFSA Restores film, Proof (1991) – fundraising screening and Q&A with award-winning director Jocelyn Moorhouse on 2 December 2016. Proceeds of the ticket sales were donated to the NFSA Restores program to help us restore more films
  • Czech and Slovak Film Festival 7–9 October 2016
  • Canberra International Film Festival 27 October –
  • 6 November 2016
  • Iranian Film Festival 11–13 November 2016
  • Queer Screen Film Festival 7–9 April 2017
  • In Conversation with Christine Anu – a night of music and memories on 2 June 2017 as part of National Reconciliation Week
  • Essential Kurosawa – selected by David Stratton, a retrospective of the finest films made by one of cinema’s great directors, Akira Kurosawa, with special guest David Stratton attending on closing night (14–30 June 2017). Presented in association with the Japan Foundation, the Sydney Film Festival and ACMI.

We also continued to host our regular public programs and weekly screenings in 2016–17. One of these is the Vinyl Lounge, where vinyl lovers bring their favourite records, share their music stories and hear what’s spinning on our turntables once a month. Another of our public programs is the consistently sold-out Ghost Tours, where we take visitors for a rare look behind the spooky history of the NFSA Headquarters.

In 2016–17 we continued to undertake significant work on curating the exhibition, Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits, jointly developed by us and the National Portrait Gallery. This exhibition will bring to life over 100 years of Australian cinema stories through the lens of the stills photographer on the film set. It will feature material from our collection, including stills and costumes. The exhibition will launch on 9 November 2017 at the National Portrait Gallery as their summer blockbuster, and we will screen a Starstruck program in Arc cinema to complement this. The exhibition will then tour nationally and regionally for two years.

1A.1 Deliver public programs, screenings and education activities both nationally and internationally as part of our community engagement strategy and three-year plan

Target Result
33,500 students participating in
school programs**
13,056
400 educational institutions participating in organised school learning programs** 347
90% of teachers reporting overall positive experience** 93%
90% of teachers reporting relevance to the classroom curriculum** 94%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20 page 6 and PBS page 170

**PBS 2016–17 target and DoCA KPI

 

Engaging with students

Our popular Canberra-based schools program interprets Australia’s rich and diverse audiovisual history and the social, political, environmental and cultural heritage it reflects. This program also introduces students to the essential work we do to collect, preserve and share our collection. We developed six new educational programs in 2016–17, including:

  • Identifying Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Sound Out of the Box (looking at the evolution of audio technologies)
  • Indigenous Representation on Screen
  • Unlocking Advertising
  • Lamplight to LED (a science-heavy look at motion and vision developed with the Australian National University and Questacon’s Science Circus Masters course)
  • Australians at War.

All of these programs received strong positive feedback from teachers for their curriculum relevance.

A total of 13,056 students from 347 educational institutions across Australia enjoyed our live presentations, which was below target for 2016–17.
This target was ambitious and based on our strong repeat business. However, as most school bookings are made well in advance, our bookings are still reflecting the two years we closed school bookings while we reviewed and redeveloped our programs. A more realistic and achievable target of 20,000 students will be set for 2017–18.

We provided surveys to teachers of every educational group that came through our Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program. PACER is an initiative of the Australian Government which provides some financial assistance for students in Years 4–12 across Australia to travel to Canberra. For 2016–17 a total of 168 surveys were returned, with all 168 reporting an ‘above average’ or ‘excellent’ response to the overall experience, and all 168 reporting relevance to the classroom curriculum. We are encouraged by this upward trend, especially as it is related to our new suite of programs designed to better meet the new Australian curriculum. We will continue to survey teachers on our educational programs in 2017–18.

Objective 1B

Develop an online presence that is contemporary, relevant and imaginative and which facilitates access to the collection

1B.1 Redevelop nfsa.gov.au to be contemporary, relevant and facilitate access to the collection

Target Result
1,500,000 visits to the organisation’s website** 1,375,055
1 million YouTube views 2,025,639
10 million Facebook users (daily reach) 13,920,509

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20 page 6 and PBS page 170

** PBS 2016–17 target and DoCA KPI

 

What we achieved

In November 2016 we launched our award-winning new website, NFSA.gov.au, where people can discover our collection in new and exciting ways (see the case study on page 22). The associated media campaign reached over 2.2 million people in Australia and our Facebook page experienced a 171% increase in followers in less than six months.

Our Facebook page experienced exponential growth during the year, as reach grew from 1.6 million unique users in 2015–16 to 13.9 million in 2016–17, and followers increased from 6,981 to 19,379. In terms of engagement, the NFSA consistently ranked in the top three national cultural institutions, thanks to popular content such as NSW Police: Daredevil Chariots (a newsreel story from 1936). Published in March 2017, it became our best performing post of all time, with 3.7 million views, generating 432,926 likes, shares and comments. It is now common for single posts to exceed 10,000 views. We are also partnering with media outlets and organisations to share our social media content and increase our audience reach.

User engagement also increased dramatically on the new website. Pages per session increased by 11% per user, session duration increased by 22%, and bounce rates from the site improved by 10%.

In 2016–17 our YouTube channels exceeded our target with 2 million views and an average duration of 4:11 minutes.

Our online exhibitions and curated collections were also a highlight of our new website (see 1B.2 for details).

However, in 2016–17 unique visits to the NFSA’s website decreased and we did not meet our target. This decrease was due to a variety of factors. In particular, we saw a significant decrease in traffic to our popular australianscreen website. Traffic dropped by approximately 100,000 unique visits, which can largely be attributed to the site not being mobile friendly and the fact that no new content had been added in a number of years as our focus is now on NFSA.gov.au. This will be addressed in 2017–18 as part of the Legacy Site Migration Plan.

Case Study:

Return of the KOOKABURRA

NFSA Logo

The new NFSA logo

In November 2016 we updated our visual identity and launched our award-winning new website, where people can discover our collection in new and exciting ways. At the same time, we re-introduced an old friend.

Our new visual identity was developed in-house to better reflect us as we are now, and to enhance our community’s interaction with us.

We refreshed our brand to be engaging, modern and progressive with a brighter, fun colour palette, and a simpler, unique logo featuring a stylised kookaburra. Our icon had to be a memorable visual representation of the NFSA, and we went back to where it all started.

The iconic Australian bird was our first logo in 1984, inspired by the laughing kookaburra in the Movietone newsreels. The kookaburra has returned now to reinforce the message that our core values and objectives remain the same as they were in 1984, but we are the modern version of the NFSA.

Our vision is to have the most relevant digital presence of all Australian cultural institutions. In order to achieve this, our new website had to put the collection at the forefront, showcasing its diversity. It also had to aggregate content from multiple heritage sites. And, as a key component of the brand refresh, we had to make it beautiful.

The resulting NFSA.gov.au provides a better experience for both the general public and existing clients and stakeholders when they discover, explore and share the collection. It offers a mobile, responsive experience with a fresh design. Navigation is simple and intuitive, in line with modern website trends.

The website showcases our collection in themed packages: blogs (found under the ‘Latest’ tab), curated collections and online exhibitions. These are pathways that allow users to explore and create their own experience around particular themes, and they are designed to enhance social media engagement.

Following the re-launch, traffic to the website has experienced an increase in unique visits and page-views. The associated media campaign reached over 2.2 million people in Australia, including national news coverage. Our Facebook page went from 7,000 to 19,000 followers in less than six months, and subscriptions to our newsletter also increased.

The new NFSA.gov.au website has won four Communicator Awards Best Website: Cultural Institutions, Best Website: Government, Best Features in Visual Appeal: Function, Best Features in Visual Appeal: Aesthetic. It is also nominated for the prestigious AMY Award for Best Government Website.

1B.2 Use digital delivery to extend and deepen
off-site and online visitor experiences

Target Result
Increase in the number of online and offsite visitor experiences offered Achieved

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
page 6

 

What we achieved

In 2016–17 we used digital delivery to extend and deepen off-site and online visitor experiences. We achieved this through our online exhibitions, NFSA Restores screenings (delivered via Digital Cinema Packages, see 1A.1 for details) and our partnership with ACMI (see 1A.1 and 1C.1 for details).

Our online exhibitions continue to provide a quality showcase of our collection material, available to more and more Australians. They are always complemented by a mobile-friendly, curated collection. To mark the 85th birthday of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we launched an exhibition in March 2017 celebrating this iconic landmark with rare footage, songs and images. The exhibition showcases the depth and breadth of our collection, which extends into every aspect of Australian life. The exhibition reached an estimated total audience of nearly five million people, thanks to its exposure on national primetime television news.

Sixty years after he made his TV debut, we published an extensive exhibition about the king of Australian television, Graham Kennedy. It covers his 40-year career in TV, radio and film, and includes rare personal items and memorabilia.

To mark 40 years since the release of one of Australia’s most loved films, Storm Boy, we published a selection of collection materials, including rare behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew.

The Storm Boy exhibition coincided with the relaunch of our website, which features new versions of our previous online exhibitions. These included Johnny O’Keefe and the films Picnic at Hanging Rock, Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Each exhibition is accompanied by one (or more) mobile-friendly, curated collections which allow us to share more materials about each subject.

In 2016–17 we received 18,594 unique visits to our online exhibitions and curated collections.

Objective 1C

Maintain a physical presence in all states and territories enabling access to the collection and our programs

1C.1 Work with partner organisations to develop and deliver a mobile access hub engaging the public with collection material and NFSA programs in a range of venues across Australia

Target Result
Collaboration is initiated to develop project plan for a mobile access hub Achieved

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
page 6

 

What we achieved

During 2016–17 we partnered with ACMI to develop a proposal for a mobile hub to host media content drawn from the ACMI and NFSA collections. The hub is intended as a virtual institution, providing on-demand access to collection material from both institutions, dramatically increasing audience access and reach while still honouring the legal status of the content. Both agencies will continue to work together to look at options for delivering the mobile hub as part of an evolution of our existing partnership delivering the Australian Mediatheque. The Australian Mediatheque houses 1.3 terabytes of video footage, feature films, short films and television, and 1,330 individual items, which have been watched over 176,000 times in the Melbourne facility. The Australian public has new expectations of access to this material and we are working with ACMI to explore options to deliver this material in fresh and innovative ways.

1C.2 Maintain a physical presence via office spaces and access centres in each state and territory

Target Result
Physical presence maintained in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra Achieved

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
page 6

 

What we achieved

Beyond our Canberra Headquarters we operate offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and we have state access centres based in the state libraries (see appendix 1 for contact details and locations). Through these centres and our online resources, we support access to the collection for all Australians and for researchers, creatives and enthusiasts worldwide.

Objective 1D

Promote (creative) use and re-use of the national collection

1D.1 Develop a contemporary orphan works policy and update our rights management framework to ensure we confidently increase our ability to share and use collection content

Target Result
A contemporary orphan works policy is developed and rights management framework updated Achieved

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
page 6

 

What we achieved

In 2016–17 we reviewed our approach to rights management record keeping, ensuring that database records clearly reflect the current copyright status of collection items, including orphan works, and identifying them for re-use by us and our stakeholders. We anticipate that over time the uptake of our collection will increase (see 5C.1 for details of collection re-use).

1D.2 Establish an artist-in-residency or curator-in-residency program

Target Result
Established a virtual artist-in-residency through our Take Three initiative Achieved

 

 

 

 

 

Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2016–17 to 2019–20
page 6

 

What we achieved

In 2016–17 we did not establish an artist-in-residency or curator-in-residency program in a traditional sense. Instead, we implemented a broader approach to encourage use and re-use of the collection to create a virtual artist-in-residency program through our Take Three initiative. This offered Australian tertiary students and emerging Australian artists and filmmakers a no-fee licence for up to three minutes of footage, audio and 10 stills from the NFSA-owned collection.