North Shore Steam Ferry historical – 1899
This short clip from 1899 shows a steam ferry docking at the Milsons Point Ferry Wharf in Sydney.
Petersham Railway Station historical – 1899
This actuality footage from 1899 shows a train arriving at Petersham or Newtown Railway Station in Sydney’s inner west.
Pathe Animated Gazette: Fire Breaks Out at Hornsby, Sydney newsreel – c1908
Topics in this Pathe Animated Gazette newsreel from 1908 range from a fire at Hornsby, in Sydney, to women modelling harem pants in Melbourne.
The Sydney Morning Herald documentary – 1911
One of the first Australian docos to be shot at night with artificial light, this Pathé short shows the newspaper printing process of the Sydney Morning Herald.
WWI Troops Embarkation and Charity Bazaars, Sydney historical – c1915
This silent footage shows newly recruited troops embarking for service; life on board the ships for troops heading overseas; and the fundraising activities of the Red Cross to aid in the war effort.
The Sentimental Bloke feature film – 1919
Director Raymond Longford and leading lady Lottie Lyell wrote this together and it is probably their most successful collaboration.
Australasian Gazette – Shopping Week, Sydney newsreel – c1926
This 1926 Australasian Gazette newsreel segment features a 'monster procession’ as part of Shopping Week in Bondi Junction, Sydney.
Sydney Tramways historical – c1928
This footage demonstrates the relationship between the growing city population of Sydney in the 1920s and the developing public transport system.
Bushells Tea: The Charmed Cup advertisement – 1929
Divided into three parts, this advertisement was screened like chapters of a dramatic fairytale plot.
Here Comes Santa advertisement – 1929
In this 1929 cinema advertisement, Santa and a young girl dressed as a fairy arrive by horse-drawn carriage at Alexandra Hospital and distribute presents.
Talkie Season Opens: Wintergarden Theatre historical – c1929
The Wintergarden Theatre was the first suburban cinema to install audio technology to screen talkies.
Travelogue of Eastern States newsreel – c1929
This travelogue, made around 1929, shows the major cities of eastern Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the new national capital.
Chas E Blanks: Families at Seaside, Sydney Harbour advertisement – c1930
This ad is filmed in a home movie style, and features the producer’s own family.
Construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge documentary – 1931
Looking back now, the lack of safety equipment used during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is shocking.
Archibald Family: Family Scenes and Outings in Sydney home movie – c1932
Much like a family album, this home movie collection records events over a period of time. From baby shots in the backyard, to outings at the beach.
Farey: Opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge home movie – 1932
Lesley Francis Farey captured what it would have been like to be in the crowd at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge newsreel – 1932
This newsreel footage with on-the-spot commentary contains unique coverage of the official opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday 19 March 1932.
Tall Timbers feature film – 1937
The finale, in which a whole hillside of trees are felled, was shot as a miniature in the studio after repeated attempts on location.
Australia’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations, Sydney home movie – 1938
Interestingly, the 26 January 1938 parade celebrating 150 years since the arrival of the First Fleet does not reflect Australia’s convict history.
A Nation is Built documentary – 1938
This sprawling and patriotic documentary uses actuality footage, historical re-enactments, fictionalised scenes and propaganda to chronicle Australia’s development and progress as a nation.
This newsreel looks nostalgically at the history of Fort Denison, a fortified island in Sydney Harbour, and its place in Sydney’s military and cultural heritage.
Sydney on Show documentary – c1940
This documentary from about 1940 shows Sydney’s progress as a modern city. It is from the large private film collection of Roger McKenzie and Bernard Kent.
Sydney Harbour and Anzac Day home movie – c1946
This colour home movie shows the official Anzac Day parade through central Sydney in 1946, one year after the end of the Second World War.
Clarke, R: Sydney Diary home movie – 1950
This home movie footage was taken by professional cameraman Robin Clarke, one of Australia’s first television cameramen.
White River of Life sponsored film – c1950
A short government film made in the early 1950s to promote the health qualities of milk and milk-based foods.
Australia Post – Royal Tour sponsored film – 1954
As this program amply illustrates, an excited Australian public turned out in droves to see the Queen in 1954. For the PMG, her visit represented a coming of age.
Banners Held High documentary – 1956
The narrator, former wharfie Jock Levy, is one of the founders of the Waterside Workers’ Federation Film Unit.
Not Only the Need sponsored film – 1957
This sponsored film made for the Australian Council of Trade Unions argues for the provision of affordable housing to replace inner-city slums.
McKenzie, Roger and Kent, Bernie: Around Sydney with a Camera home movie – 1962
Bernard Kent met Roger McKenzie in 1947. Aside from collecting films, they made their own amateur movies such as this travelogue of Sydney’s harbour suburbs.
The Land That Waited television program – 1963
This remarkable documentary tells the early history of colonial Australia through etchings, paintings and drawings produced by the first colonists.
Sydney-Newcastle Expressway sponsored film – 1968
This film comprehensively covers three-and-a-half years of construction of the Sydney-Newcastle Expressway in 50 minutes.
The Set feature film – 1969
Aspiring young designer Paul Lawrence is drawn into the hedonistic world of Sydney’s upper-class society.
It’s Academic – Episode 40 television program – 1971
It’s Academic is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running quiz program in television history.
Number 96 – Episode 35 television program – 1972
One of the only surviving early black-and-white episodes of Number 96 is a rollicking ride through an apartment building and its class values and sex-obsessed situations.
Sunstruck feature film – 1972
Welsh schoolteacher Stanley Evans takes a posting in Kookaburra Springs, a tiny outback town. He forms a children’s choir which travels to Sydney for a national competition.
The 8th Wonder of the World sponsored film – 1973
This documentary coincided with the official opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973 and looks at the architecture, art and functions of the building.
Monster or Miracle? Sydney Opera House documentary – 1973
Made just prior to the official opening in 1973, this is a celebratory film about the construction and opening of the Sydney Opera House.
Sydney Opera House Opening Concert music – 1973
A magical night in the history of Australian music: the first official concert in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
The Western Distributor sponsored film – 1973
This sponsored film documents the construction of the first stage of the Western Distributor, providing a route from the Sydney Harbour Bridge through to Ultimo and the city’s west.
Number 96 – Episode 910 television program – 1975
The 1975 finale of Number 96 has multiple cliffhangers and is the last episode ever aired in a half-hour format.
Winter of Our Dreams feature film – 1981
It was surprising that this uncompromising film about a junkie prostitute’s failure to find love, would work so well with audiences.
Heatwave feature film – 1982
An architect and an activist from opposing sides unite against a crooked developer.
Starstruck feature film – 1982
Gillian Armstrong’s Starstruck is an energetic rock musical comedy, with a kitsch aesthetic very much influenced by the style of early ’80s video clips.
Going Down feature film – 1983
Four women friends leave behind the feral days of youth after a night of uncontrolled excess in inner-city Sydney during the early 1980s.
Passionless Moments short film – 1983
Jane Campion’s student short film delivers funny, fragmentary tales with an unsentimental whimsy.
The Rocks: Sydney, Australia documentary – 1983
The Rocks was considered a slum until it was restored in the 1970s. This sponsored documentary traces its redevelopment as a tourist precinct.
Playing Beatie Bow feature film – 1985
Playing Beatie Bow has the sumptuous look and feel of a period film, thanks to its award-winning cinematography and production design.
Rocking the Foundations documentary – 1985
Rocking The Foundations is more than a film about a union: it’s a film about social change and how ordinary people can make that happen.
Emerald City feature film – 1988
Successful screenwriter Colin Rogers moves from Melbourne to Sydney and becomes involved with commercial movie hustler Mike McCord.
Living Room documentary – 1988
This beautiful, unsettling experimental documentary is a meditation on Australian suburbia and notions of home.