The Last Film Search seeks to locate nitrate film in danger of being lost through decomposition or deterioration caused by the chemical and physical nature of the items, methods of storage or prior use. Until 1951 nearly all professional films were made on nitrate stock with a lifespan of between 30 and 70 years, meaning that by the year 2000 most nitrate film would have literally turned to dust.
The project focuses on unique or rare items, materials of high heritage value and those not acquired by other collecting institutions. The NFSA accords film of Australian origin or association the highest priority for acquisition and preservation.
NFSA technical glossary: nitrate