National Film and Sound Archive to share its secrets in Hive

AAR-NFSA-Hive-StorywallThe National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) will use interactive technologies to provide visitors with an insight into its collection – and the experts tasked with preserving it – in a new public space called Hive.

Opening in Canberra on Saturday 1 August 2020, Hive will give visitors an opportunity to explore stories about the treasures in the NFSA’s vast collection, and hear from the people who love and care for more than three million items preserved by the national institution.

The centrepiece of Hive will be a new interactive display titled Storywall, produced by the NFSA and SBS Digital Creative Labs. Storywall will feature a life-size projection of six NFSA experts ‘waiting’ for visitors to interact with them using their mobile devices.

Once selected, they will tell a story about themselves and their passion for Australia’s audiovisual history, as well as digitally showcasing items from the NFSA collection. The stories will be available in English plus six other languages: Arabic, French, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish.

The Storywall will feature:

  • Collection Management Team Leader Belinda Hunt and Australia’s first Academy Award won by Kokoda Front Line! in 1942.
  • Curator Chris Arneil and the 1993 video game Halloween Harry – one of the first eight Australian video games to be preserved by the NFSA.
  • Documents and Artefacts Conservator Shingo Ishikawa and the platform shoes worn by Hugo Weaving in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1995.
  • Curator Tamara Osicka and a unique 1930s aluminium record made by a woman wishing her granddaughter a happy birthday.
  • Indigenous Connections Manager Tasha James and the hat worn by Justine Saunders in the 1986 Bruce Beresford film The Fringe Dwellers.
  • Video Preservation Specialist Richard Vorobieff and a VCR – a reminder of the urgent need to digitise hundreds of thousands of hours of television, radio, music and more, before they’re lost forever.

Two of the original items featured in Storywall will also be on display at Hive: the Priscilla shoe, and The Fringe Dwellers hat. Hive will include other interactive displays, such as a trivia game featuring NFSA collection footage (to test visitors on their knowledge of Australian culture and history), highlights from the Sounds of Australia registry to date, and more stories from the NFSA collection. These will be refreshed regularly so there will always be plenty to explore.

Hive opens at the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra from Saturday 1 August 2020. Entry is free. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: A detail from the interactive Storywall in Hive – courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive