Wednesday, March 27, 2013

TheVine: Sydney Film Festival launches A Living Archive

BYO: Tablet devices.

You’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty curious invitation to receive (not to mention potentially exclusive!). But ok, consider my interest piqued - and my Nexus 10 packed - Sydney Film Festival.
Launching this morning at Custom’s House, Sydney Film Festival 1954 to Now: a Living Archive is a world first online publication to celebrate the festival’s 60thbirthday.
But ‘online publication’ really doesn’t do this treasure trove justice. Crafted by “digital pioneers” realview, it is an EPIC e-book; a staggering, film history geek mecca that chronicles 60 years and the 8580 films that have graced Sydney Film Festival screens. There are essays, short films, program guides, photos, and memories from festivalgoers young and old.
Festival director Nashen Moodley appropriately let the digital version of himself handle the introduction, before bringing up film doyen and erstwhile festival director David Stratton, who joked that in 1966 “online” “would have had something to do with a hills hoist.”

Mr. Stratton then went on to recount the year “a flock of sheep attended the opening night of the Sydney Film Festival.” Wonderfully told off the cuff as an example of how anything can happen at the festival, one can only hope he will add that story to the archive!
An Internet hole of cinematic proportions (and I mean that in a good way!), this living archive has been built to expand in future years. And while will take days to uncover all its current delights, here are a few fun places to start:
- Trundle through the folio of festival posters.
- Click “All Pages” and delight in the beautiful design and array of film stills for each festival year.
- “Films with Writing on the Bottom” – Former Travelling Film Festival Manager Susan Wilson’s delightful memories on “not your regular movies” that draw surprising crowds around Australia.
- Have a story to share? Join the discussion.

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