Producer Tony Buckley has received an award from the trust that owns Ted Kotcheff’s Wake in Fright, the 1971 classic that starred Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty and Jack Thompson.

The Outback-set drama was lost for many years until Buckley, its editor, located the negatives in a Pittsburgh film vault labelled "For Destruction.”

The print was digitally restored by the National Film and Sound Archive and screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, 38 years after it played in competition at the festival.

 It has since been re-released in multiple territories including the US, the UK, France and Japan, sold internationally by Madman Entertainment.

US critic Rex Reed declared, "In the final analysis, it may be the greatest Australian film ever made."

The Wake in Fright Trust gave Buckley a cheque at a function at AFTRS last Thursday to recognise his work in recovering the film and his lifetime contribution to the film industry.

Evan Jones wrote the screenplay adapted from journalist and author Kenneth Cook's 1961 autobiographical novel.

The Trust was established to take over ownership of the film after the de-registration of Jack Neary and Bobby Limb’s NLT Productions, which co-produced with US giant Westinghouse.

It aims to maintain and promote the film as a seminal and classic Australian feature.