Thursday, 3 September 2009

A New National Screen Culture Resource Centre

The Australian Mediatheque
The Australian Mediatheque

Melbourne's Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) have collaborated to create a new national screen culture resource centre to be known as the Australian Mediatheque, it was announced today by Victorian Arts Minister, Lynne Kosky.

"ACMI and the NFSA are internationally recognised institutions that celebrate, preserve, exhibit and champion screen culture across its diverse forms," Ms Kosky said.  "As two leading cultural organisations, they have collaborated over many years and are now joining forces to deliver an Australian first at ACMI."

Minister Kosky said the Mediatheque would be housed in a purpose-built centre within ACMI at Federation Square. She said the facility will significantly expand access to the full richness of the ACMI and NFSA collections and other key work and will open to the public on Friday 18 September.
"The Australian Mediatheque will provide Victorians and visitors to Melbourne with new and exciting opportunities to freely engage with the moving image and to explore our significant screen culture archives including highlights from over 100 years of Australian and international film, clips from Australian television productions, film stills and publicity materials, video artworks, student and community-made films and sound resources," Ms Kosky said.

"From The Sentimental Bloke to Priscilla Queen of the Dessert, Bellbird to Neighbours, our stories will be available on demand."

Mediatheque content partners include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF), Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten and Foxtel, as well as production companies, independent producers and leading film schools.

ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, said the Australian Mediatheque will be a key feature of a major redevelopment of the centre, which includes the creation of the nation's first permanent gallery charting the history and future of the moving image.

"The ACMI and NSFA collections form a rich repository of Australian and international moving image works, including many rare and unique titles, objects and reference materials spanning more than a century of screen culture history," said Tony. "The Australian Mediatheque will, for the first time, allow the community to access the content of our archives via a dedicated resource centre which will provide diverse opportunities for entertainment, research and learning."

This collaboration also enables the NFSA to further extend its Melbourne presence where members of the public, researchers, students and educators can access its national collection on a drop-in or pre-planned basis.

NFSA CEO, Dr Darryl McIntyre, said "The NFSA is excited by this collaboration with ACMI because it presents a new avenue for sharing the national audiovisual collections with more Australians."

The NFSA collects, preserves, interprets and provides access to Australia's historic and contemporary moving image and sound culture. "Our commitment is to provide broad access to this national resource, and by joining forces with ACMI we're making our collection more readily available for people to experience and enjoy," Darryl said.

Within the Australian Mediatheque:
. On-demand digitised works including sound resources
. Highlights from over 100 years of Australian and international film
. Clips from Australian television
. Exemplary video artworks
. Student and community made short films
. Film stills, publicity materials and more
. Curated packages including Len Lye, Historic Melbourne from the NFSA, ACMI-produced digital stories and Vintage Victoria from the ACMI collection

On-site facilities include:
. Custom-designed viewing booths with LCD screens, stereo headphones and comfortable lounge seating
. Search terminals to browse available works
. A viewing room in which researchers can view 16mm and 35mm films on a flatbed film viewer
. A research desk for viewing printed materials
. Advice and assistance from specialist ACMI and NFSA staff

The Australian Mediatheque will be open to the general public from 18 September between 12-6pm Monday to Sunday. School visits hosted by the ACMI Screen Education team and individual or group research project bookings are by appointment.

Access to the Australian Mediatheque is free of charge.

Further information

Claire Butler
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [mobile] 0434 603 654

Sarah Finney
[direct phone] 61 2 6248 2173 [mobile] 0400 197 558
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