Tuesday, 21 September 2010

ACMI hits the magic million as visitor numbers soar

ACMI million visitors
Burtonarium, Burton Exhibition
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) has recorded its highest ever visitation attracting more than 1 million visitors to its Federation Square site in the 12-months to September 2010.

The milestone caps off a transformative year for ACMI that included the opening of new galleries, production spaces and resources. The weekend also saw ACMI reach its highest attendance for a major exhibition with the 200,000th visitor (Sunday 19 September) to the blockbuster Tim Burton: The Exhibition, presented as part of Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2010.

ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, said the achievements of the past year are borne from years of planning and reflect on ACMI's position as not only a major Australian cultural institution, but one that is increasingly recognised on an international stage.

'To attract over 1 million visitors in a 12-month period is a very significant achievement for any cultural institution, but particularly for one that is so young,' Tony said. 'It is a truly outstanding result that places ACMI amongst the top of the league in Australia, and is also significant on the world stage'.

In 2009/10, ACMI delivered major projects that have transformed its physical spaces and significantly increased our program offer. At its heart is the creation of a world-first permanent free-entry exhibition charting the history and future of the moving image, Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture, which opened on 18 September, 2009.

'In the last 12-months, we've seen spectacular audience growth, major increases in schools attendance, and a significant jump in the number of people engaged in our dynamic calendar of Public Programs,' Tony said. 'We now add a world-class permanent exhibition to our hugely successful temporary exhibition program, bringing the best of the moving image from around the world to Australian audiences'.
Highlights include:

. 1 Million visitors (12-months to September 17 2010)
. A 125% increase in the financial year attendance (2009/10) to a record 750,000
. 200,000 visitors (and counting) to Tim Burton: The Exhibition  - ACMI's most successful exhibition (as of Sunday 19 September)
. 49% of all visitors to Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture  were visiting ACMI for the first time and more than 54% were from outside of Melbourne
. ACMI partners with the NFSA to create the new national screen culture resource centre at ACMI, the Australian Mediatheque
. Public Programs attendance increases by 28% (2009/10 financial year)
. Education program attendances more than double (up by 104%) to 42,227, the equivalent of over 2000 individual class visits (2009/10 financial year)
. Fred Schepisi becomes inaugural patron of the Australian Mediatheque
. Over 35,000 hours of moving image content viewed in the Australian Mediatheque free of charge by more than 35,000 visitors (12-months to September 2010)
. Partner film festivals at ACMI reach a record high of 15

ACMI President, the Hon. John Thwaites, said the creation of Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture, and the Australian Mediatheque, has cemented ACMI's reputation within industry as a major contributor.

'It has been an extraordinary watershed year for ACMI, a culmination of all the initiative and commitment of our people and our supporters, specifically the Victorian Government, since our birth really only a short time ago,' John said. 'We are now firmly placed on the national and international landscape as a unique, leading worldwide institution within our field'.

In the past year ACMI also opened a second temporary exhibitions gallery, an exterior exhibition space (the Video Garden) and two new studio production facilities that have combined to substantially broaden its programming offer.

Tim Burton: The Exhibition, ACMI's current Melbourne Winter Masterpieces blockbuster will close on October 10, 2010, with a special series of late night Burton Club events (til Midnight 7-9 October) to cap off its record-breaking run.

ACMI's next major exhibition is Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney's Classic Fairy Tales opening on 18 November with tickets going on sale on Monday 11 October.

More information at http://www.acmi.net.au/

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
[email] claire.butler@acmi.net.au  
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