Nearly two years after the launch of New Zealand's Film Archive, founding director Jonathan Dennis discusses preserving films and film memorabilia for the public to enjoy. He shows reporter Gordon McLauchlan old nitrate film decaying in a former ammunition bunker, then describes finding a print of 1920s movie The Devil's Pit (aka Under the Southern Cross). One of the film's stars, Witarina Harris (née Mitchell) watches part of the film with Dennis, and recalls her time on set. The pair would work closely together promoting the Film Archive (now Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision).
In less than 20 years all the pre-war film will be irretrievable, and the present rate of restoration is not keeping pace with the rate of decay. But coming to the rescue is the New Zealand Film Archive, an organisation dedicated to finding, restoring and preserving old moving pictures.– Reporter Gordon McLauchlan