VCA Film and Television Digital Archive Project

Screenshot from the VCA student documentary Glenn's Story (1979), dir. Arnold Zable

Academic

Donna Hensler
Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, VCA Film and Television

Intern

Victoria Perin, Art History
School of Culture and Communications

Project

Over the past fifty years, VCA Film and Television (formerly the Swinburne School of Film and Television) has amassed an archive which comprises hundreds of short films. These films reflect a broad cross section of Australian daily life and film culture and illustrate how it has changed over that time. The Archive is a significant and unique resource of cultural information, sound, stories and images that document Australian life and history. The Film School is preparing its assets to release the student film archive online, which will be the largest short film repository in Australia. Once accessible through digitisation, the Archive will be a rich and expanding resource on film culture and local history for university staff, students, alumni, Australian screen industry professionals and the public by providing a unique social and cultural history.

Internship Outcome

The VCA’s Film & Television School Digital Archive is comprised of over 600 student films from the late 1960s to today. The VCA required a Digital Intern to watch dozens of student films in order to extract metadata, with the ultimate goal of making an accessible, searchable database as a teaching tool for VCA F&TV staff. After watching and describing 50+ film, I completed a responsive text, as a way of advertising the value of this archive. My essay was designed to engage students creatively, so that they too might approach the archive in an intensive and productive way.