Scott Hicks’ film memorabilia acquired by State Library of SA

Selected items from the collection will go on public display at the State Library to coincide with the Adelaide Film Festival, where Hicks will launch two new films.

Australian Film Director Scott Hicks’ personal collection of film memorabilia, including original filmscripts, props, running sheets and award submissions will now have a permanent home at the State Library of South Australia following a major acquisition.

A facsimile from Steven Spielberg congratulating Hicks on his Academy award nomination for the hit film Shine (1996) and an oil painting portrait of Hicks by famed artist David Bromley are among the thousands of items donated to the State Library – making it one of the most culturally significant acquisitions for the State Library in recent years.

Selected items from the collection will go on public display at the State Library to coincide with the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF), where Hicks will launch two new films.

State Library of South Australia Director Geoff Strempel said: ‘Scott Hicks’ outstanding film work is synonymous with South Australia, and it is only fitting that these culturally significant film items are now part of the State Library’s diverse collection.

‘As the custodians of South Australian stories, we are delighted that Scott Hicks has entrusted the State Library with his personal collection of film memorabilia.

‘The Scott Hicks archive is an extraordinary record of the life and work of one of the most important Australian filmmakers from the last century and into the 21st century.

‘Our team has carefully collected, processed, digitised and preserved hundreds of thousands of hours of never-before-seen film, including actors screen tests for roles in Hicks’ films and daily rushes in South Australia and abroad that never made the final cut.

‘The archival materials will be of immense interest to students of film, cultural historians and the South Australian community, and are now accessible through the Library’s research collection.’

Read: New shows and films streaming in Australia in October 2023

Hicks’ films The Musical Mind and My Name’s Ben Folds – I Play Piano both have their World Premieres at the Adelaide Film Festival this month.

‘I seem to have thrown nothing away,’ he said. ‘It’s fascinating to think it may now be useful for future filmmakers and others to contemplate and learn from.

‘South Australia is where I got my start in the film industry and remained my home base throughout my Hollywood career following the success of Shine. I’m deeply honoured to see my personal archive in the careful hands of the State Library of South Australia.

‘I’m extremely grateful to the wonderful team at the State Library who have worked assiduously to process and curate this evidence of my filmmaking career.

‘From script development to storyboarding, from book to screen, through films, rock clips and commercials, I hope the collection can create a portal into the art, the craft and the sheer heavy lifting of film making. It spans the end of the celluloid era into the digital domain of the present. I do hope a new generation of filmmakers can find inspiration in it, or simply fascination at the processes of a pre-digital generation.’

Selected items from the Scott Hicks collection will be on display in the foyer of the State Library of South Australia from 18–30 October.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites