The National Film, Video and Sound Archives (NFVSA) is a subdirectorate of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa, located in Pretoria. State generated material is transferred periodically in terms of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996, as amended). However, the NFVSA has a broad mandate to collect audio-visual and related material that was made in or about South Africa.
Material is mainly donated by the film, video and sound industries, as well as private persons. Provision was made in the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act for a form of legal deposit of audio-visual material at the request of the National Archivist. The Legal Deposit Act (Act No. 54 of 1997) specifically designates the NFVSA as a place of deposit for audio-visual material that has been published and made available in South Africa.
The National Film Archives was established as a part of the National Film Board in 1964 in terms of Act No 73 of 1963, which was aimed at assisting in the promotion of the film industry. It specialised in films that were made in or about South Africa irrespective of the format. It traced, accessioned, restored, preserved and made available films to the public.
Initially known as the South African Film Institute (SAFI), the name was later changed to the National Film Archives (NFVSA). In 1982 it was incorporated into State Archives Service and in 1985 the name was changed to the National Film, Video and Sound Archives (NFVSA). In 1989 it attained full membership of the International Association of Sound Archives (IASA) and in 1996 became a provisional member of the Federation of International Film Archives (FIAF).
The NFVSA is a government institution that preserves the audio-visual heritage of the country for future generations. Different formats like films, sound recordings and related materials, such as scripts, posters etc, can be found at the NFVSA, where researchers can access audio-visual material.
To view or listen to material, an appointment must be made in advance. A three-day notice period is required to allow the material to acclimatize before putting it on the machines to access it. Material may be accessed on NFVSA premises at a fee determined by the Treasury. Bona fide students, however, can view or listen to material free of charge.
The written permission of a copyright holder is required before any material may be copied or duplicated.
Apart from the audio-visual collection NFVSA also has slides, posters, scripts, a library and photographs dealing with audio-visual material, as well as information on the arts such as literature, music, sculpting, painting, the theatre etc.
Mission of the National Film, Video and Sound Archives
The aims of the National Film, Video and Sound Archives are:
To collect audio-visual and related material that was made in or about South Africa;
To preserve the audio-visual heritage of South Africa;
To make the audio-visual heritage accessible to all South Africans; and
To promote audio-visual material and the audio-visual industries of the country.