The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia today begins its exciting future as an independent statutory authority, with the aim of increasing Australian public access to preserved moving images and sound recordings.

Arts Minister Peter Garrett said the creation of the independent NFSA fulfils a 2007 election commitment by the new federal government, and will give the Archive more autonomy with its own governing Board and management.

“The 1st of July marks an important symbolic moment for the NFSA and a positive future for the cultural preservation of moving film and recorded sound in Australia,” Mr Garrett said.

Executive Director of the NFSA, Paolo Cherchi Usai said for the first time, the NFSA will have full responsibility on the national collection of audiovisual and related material, and authority for the selection, acquisition, preservation and public presentation of works in the collections.

“As an independent collecting institution we will be empowered to increase public engagement, taking our moving image and sound projects to regional, national and international audiences through new outreach and education activities,” Paolo Cherchi Usai said.

“Audiovisual archives are more than repositories of a nation’s culture. They must present, interpret, explain their collections to the widest possible audience. In short, they must foster creativity. The NFSA is now ready to take up this challenge.”

As part of the celebrations today, the NFSA will host the world premiere of the cinematic production of 12 Canoes (not to be confused with the acclaimed feature 10 Canoes), a new media work by Rolf de Heer and Molly Reynolds and the Ramininging Community of Arnhem Land.

ACT Senator Kate Lundy welcomes the NFSA’s independence and will be attending the world premiere of 12 Canoes on behalf of the Arts Minister, Peter Garrett.

“Through collaborations like 12 Canoes, the NFSA will continue its outstanding work providing public access to a magnificent collection of audiovisual culture,” Senator Lundy said.

Over the next few months, the NFSA will also embrace new online and digital broadcasting opportunities, including the release of an interactive 12 Canoes broadband website, to increase audience engagement with multi-platform media projects.
[Release by Avviso]

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