The Archive Project

Director: John Hughes
Year: 2006
Duration: 98 mins

In the context of the Cold War, ‘The Archive Project’ examines the work a small group of dedicated film enthusiasts. The Melbourne Realist Film Unit forged an Australian response to threats to freedom of speech and sought social justice through an engagement with European and American documentary, feature and avant-garde cinema.

In their body of work – their films and equally importantly their exhibition practices – lies an important foundation of Australia’s contemporary independent film culture. Their story is told through the first person account of a filmmaker today, digging through archives.

Production Credit

Writer Director John Hughes, Producers Philippa Campey, John Hughes, Editor Co-director Uri Mizrahi.

Produced by Early Works with the assistance of the NFSA, AFC, Film Victoria, ABC TV Arts and Music and Effects, Melbourne.


  • Winner, The Audio/Visual History Prize, 2007 NSW Premier’s History Awards.
  • Best Feature Documentary, 2006 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards (with Hunt Angels)
  • Best Tertiary Education Resource, 2006 ATOM Awards.
  • Winner, The Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand’s 2006 Joan Long Award for Achievement in Australian Film History.
  • 2006 AFI Award Nomination for Best Editing and Best Sound in a Documentary.
  • Writer/Director John Hughes was also honoured with Film Australia’s coveted Stanley Hawes Award, for Achievement In Documentary in 2006.

Review Quotes

“…here one of the country’s most respected doc filmmakers – John Hughes – works his essay magic on a forgotten part of Australian film history…There’s real politics, real style and real heart in this work and essential viewing for those interested in Australian politics, society and screen culture. Highly recommended”  Perth Revelation Film Festival Review, 2007.

“Salient words given the present climate of political paranoia. This is a powerful, relevant and original documentary — the product of serious detective work in the archives of Australian film.”  Natalie Craig, Sydney Morning Herald, January 2006.

“ Hughes and his team have produced a slick, visually impressive story”  Tim Milfull, mc reviews, 24/6/2006.

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