Media release: Saturday, 21 June 2008
The National Archives of Australia is proud to be co-sponsoring and hosting the Longest Night Film Festival as part of this year's Mid-Winter Antarctic Festival.
Linda Jacobs, State Director of the National Archives, Tasmania, has worked closely with the Antarctic Festival director to provide moving images from the National Archives collection for this year's film festival. The clips include pictures of pioneering aviation in the Antarctic.
'It was exciting to find so much historical footage providing a glimpse into life in the Antarctic up to 70 years ago,' she said. 'I found it quite hair-raising to watch footage of expeditioners transferring planes from the ice and water back onto the ship that took them to Antarctica. And it was also amazing to see how they had to use brushes and brooms to scrape ice off the wings of the planes.'
'Scientific films also show how technology has advanced since the International Geophysical Year in 1957–58. We have archival footage of scientists collecting water for testing by lowering a bucket over the side of the ship. Comparing such practices with those used during the International Polar Year in 2007–08 shows a fascinating evolution in testing methods and tools.'
Ms Jacobs sees the festival as a valuable opportunity for the National Archives to collaborate with the Austalian Antarctic Division and various Tasmanian state organisations.
'As part of the Hobart community, we feel honoured to help celebrate the key role Antarctica plays in Tasmania's economy.'
Director-General of the National Archives of Australia, Ross Gibbs, will open the Longest Night Film Festival on Saturday 21 June.
In conjunction with the festival the National Archives will also host a public exhibition Mapping our Backyard – Australia's First Map of Antarctica in its Hobart office.