Friends of the National Film and Sound Archive, Melbourne Branch

The Melbourne branch of the Friends was launched in November 2019, in collaboration with The Thornbury Picture House and the Liardet Community Centre in Port Melbourne.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in force, we have had to cancel our monthly Sundays With Friends events for the foreseeable future. However, we're definitely planning to resume our program once things return to something resembling normal.

You may like to know about some of the scheduled events that we’ve put on hold for the time being. These include:

  • A screening at TPH of the restored version of award-winning Australian film Newsfront (1978). Highly acclaimed at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival, and the winner of 18 international awards, it garnered rave reviews from critics around the world and became a major box office success.
  • A presentation at Port Melbourne, with archival sound recordings, by Melbourne musician Bruce Watson about Fanny Cochrane Smith (1834-1905). Fanny was the last fluent speaker of a Tasmanian Indigenous language, and was recorded talking and singing on wax cylinders in 1899 and 1903. These precious historical artefacts have been pivotal in reconstructing palawa kani, a revived language used by Aboriginal Tasmanians today.
  • A screening at TPH of the restored version of award-winning Australian film Ten Canoes (2006). Acclaimed by critics, it was awarded the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and won in six out of seven categories at the AFI Awards.
  • A presentation at Port Melbourne by Bryony Cosgrove and Philip Heath on George Beringer (1893-1973), a prolific Australian actor and director. He became a star in the 1920s in the silent films of Ernst Lubitsch and DW Griffith – starring with the likes of Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian Gish and Clara Bow - and directed ten films between 1914 and 1924. Living a flamboyant and glamorous lifestyle, he invented a fake French ancestry and called himself André de Beranger.
  • A presentation by Melbourne writer James Aitchison on radio drama producer Grace Gibson (1905-1989), best known for the serials Dr Paul and Portia Faces Life. Born in America, Grace arrived in Sydney in 1934. She established one of the most successful radio production companies in the world, and was awarded an OAM in 1987 for her services to radio in Australia.

Please keep an eye out for announcements about all these and more, once public gatherings become permissible again.

For all enquiries please contact the Gwenda, at