The outlaw Ned Kelly, along with his gang, is an important historical figure in Australia and an important cinematic figure in Australian cinema. Including a widely distributed 2003 release starring Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts and Orlando Bloom, the gang has been portrayed in at least 10 films. Kelly's story was first the focus of a 1906 film by Charles Tait titled The Story of the Kelly Gang, which is considered to be the first feature-length dramatic motion picture, with an original running time of 70 minutes (however, there had previously been feature-length films of boxing matches and also other very long religious films). The whole film no longer exists, though; after 100 years, there is only 17 minutes of footage available. It had been thought to have been gone altogether until 1975, when the first small segment was found. Since then, other substantial bits have been recovered, with last year's discovery of a whole reel -- 11 minutes -- being the most significant. What is left of the film was recently digitally restored, screened publicly and finally released on DVD.

That fragmented footage has now also been added to a United Nations heritage register. UNESCO's Memory of the World register recognizes and preserves artifacts and records of world significance, and currently the list only features fewer than 200 items. Another piece of Australian history added to the register this year is records of 165,000 convicts transported from England to Australia throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries. Non-Australian items include records from Nelson Mandela's trial and, also of cinematic interest, the 1939 classic The Wizard of Ozand the personal archives of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, which includes hand- and type-written original manuscripts, drafts, notebooks, production papers, photographs and behind-the-scenes footage from his films, and correspondences, all of which, laid out, apparently reaches about 45 meters in length.

categories Cinematical