April 1980: The Australian Film Commission’s Working Party on the National Film Archive presents its recommendations to the National Library Council, which eventually supports the setting up of an Advisory Committee on a National Film Archive.
1980: The new nitrate film vault in the Canberra suburb of Mitchell becomes operational, with collections transferred there from temporary storage in Sydney.
June 1981: For the Term of His Natural Life (1927) is the National Film Archive’s first major film reconstruction with music and restored colouring. It opens and closes, respectively, the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals and then enjoys a commercial release.
October 1981: Peter Weir launches the Last Film Search project. With the slogan ‘nitrate won’t wait’, this five-year search for old film captures the national imagination and brings the work of the National Film Archive to wide public attention.