NFSA Restores: Australia Daze

26 Jan 2021 | GOMA | Cinema A

26 January 1988, the Bicentenary of European settlement in Australia. Twenty-nine camera crews captured the nation’s response, contrasting the official celebrations with the thoughts and attitudes of ordinary Australians. They filmed everything for 24 hours, with cameras rolling at a minute to midnight: from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protests to Royal visits and backyard barbies; from the spectacle of Tall Ships coming through the Sydney Heads to re-enactments on dry riverbeds in outback Australia.

The finished film is both entertaining and thought-provoking, addressing the quintessentially Australian disparity of what 26 January means to different sectors in our society. For audiences in 2021, there will be recognisable characters, nostalgic and cringeworthy moments, and realisations that some things haven’t changed much.

This screening of 'NFSA Restores: Australia Daze' is presented in partnership with the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra.

Seating for this free screening is general admission and our ushers will ensure all patrons in the cinema follow COVID-safe seating arrangements. As seating is still limited, we recommend arriving early to avoid disappointment.

Notes on the Restoration

Shot in 1988, using various 16mm stock, the A&B rolls were lodged with the NFSA by the filmmakers. The original print negatives were scanned in-house at the NFSA in Canberra, using the Scanity digital scanner, to international archival preservation standards. The scans were then sent to Spectrum Films at Fox Studios in Sydney, where the vision was cleaned, automatically and then manually, and fully restored by their expert colourist.

The restoration process included ongoing consultation with key creatives wherever possible. Director/producer Pat Fiske was in the suite to provide advice on colour and contrast. During this process, there were additional insights on offer as memories and anecdotes were freely shared, bringing the
filmmaking process back to life.

Audio restoration was completed in-house by the NFSA and then digitally laid onto the final file by Spectrum Films. Once the final digitally restored file was quality controlled, a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and subsequent HD file were rendered and tested on a cinema screen. All materials resulting from this digital restoration are now part of the NFSA collection, where they will be preserved for future generations.


QAGOMA acknowledges the generous assistance of the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra in in providing materials for this screening.