Unearthing Small Gems: VCA Digital Archive Opens to the Public

Every VCA graduation film since 1966 is now stored in digital form. A new exhibition showcases this treasure trove for the first time.

Shorts made at film school have played an iconic role in the history of Australian cinema, revealing fresh talents, winning prestigious awards and launching some big international careers. But where do you find those films now, especially the ones made back in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and even 90s before everything was available on Youtube and Vimeo?

When filmmaker and academic Donna Lyon started working at the VCA’s Film and Television School in 2013, one of her roles was overseeing the distribution of student films that had gained traction beyond academia. ‘What I found was that there was no way to see the films,’ she says, telling Screenhub about the five-year quest that’s dominated her life and become her PhD project.

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Rochelle Siemienowicz is the ArtsHub Group's Education and Career Editor. She was previously a journalist for Screenhub and is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. Her second book, Double Happiness, a novel, will be published by Midnight Sun in 2024. Instagram: @Rochelle_Rochelle Twitter: @Milan2Pinsk