NFSA launches tender for digital 16mm motion picture scanner

02 November, 2012 by Brendan Swift

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has launched a $500,000 tender to supply and install a new digital 16mm motion picture scanner in its motion picture laboratory.

It will mark the beginning of the NFSA's in-house scanning operations for 16mm film footage – its digital preservation efforts have previously covered audio and video formats, as well as small-gauge film formats such as 8mm and 9.5mm.


An NFSA spokesman said 16mm colour film was an important part of the national audiovisual collection but also one of the most vulnerable due to physical and chemical decomposition. "With the demise of film as a distribution medium it will become harder and harder to maintain film-to-film preservation in the mid and long term."

The digitisation of 16mm film footage will also bring the NFSA in line with international peers such as the British Film Institute.

The scanner, which must also be upgradeable to scan 35mm at 4K resolution, will be installed at the NFSA’s Canberra premises by June, 2013. The laboratory intends to scan up to 20,000 ft of film per week over approximately 200 working days each year.

The NFSA collection is comprised of more than two million items in various formats, including approximately 91,000 16mm films and 56,000 35mm films.

More information about the tender process, which closes on November 15, 2012, can be found at








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