ACMI (museum)

LocationFederation Square, Melbourne, Australia
Coordinates37°49′03″S 144°58′10″E / 37.817438°S 144.969533°E / -37.817438; 144.969533
Visitors1,316,000 (2016)
DirectorSebastian Chan
Public transit access Flinders Street
Stop 13 – Federation Square

ACMI, formerly the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, is Australia's national museum of screen culture including film, television, videogames, digital culture and art. ACMI was established in 2002 and is based at Federation Square in Melbourne, Victoria.

ACMI features a range of curated exhibitions as well as a permanent exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image. It also provides a regular program film screenings and events, a library and online collection of film and video and an education program.


Beginnings in the State Film Centre of Victoria

Prior to ACMI, Victoria's main film and screen organisation was the State Film Centre of Victoria, based at Treasury Theatre, which was established in 1946.

In the 1950s, the State Film Centre was involved in producing a number of projects for television, then a new medium in Australia. It also played a role as an archive of Australian films, such as The Sentimental Bloke (1919) and On Our Selection (1920).

During the 1960s, the State Film Centre provided advice on film treatments, production, scripts and distribution outlets to local filmmakers. In 1969, the centre assumed management of the newly constructed State Film Theatre, providing a facility for exhibiting material not screened in commercial cinemas.

In the 1970s, the centre began acquiring examples of student films as well as those made by the newly vibrant Australian film industry, such as Homesdale (1971) by Peter Weir, Stork (1971) and Alvin Purple (1973) by Tim Burstall, and The Devil's Playground (1976) by Fred Schepisi.

In 1988, the State Film Centre Education Program was set up. The program provided screenings for Victorian Certificate of Education students, based on core texts, and in-service days for their teachers.

Establishing ACMI at Federation Square

In 1993, a Victorian state government report reaffirmed the viability of a proposal for an Australian Centre for the Moving Image. In July 1997, following an open, international and two-stage design competition, Lab Architecture Studio (based in London at the time), in association with their joint venture partners, Bates Smart architects, was announced as the winner. Federation Square was to be a new civic space, built above the Jolimont railyards, to mark the celebration of Australia's Centenary of Federation.

An aerial view of dark buildings in a public square.
An aerial view of ACMI in Fed Square, Melbourne (photo by Phoebe Powell)

On 1 January 2002, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image was officially established by the Film Act 2001 (Victoria). The first stage was opened in October, with two exhibitions, Deep Space: Sensation & Immersion and Ngarinyin Pathways Dulwan, running in ACMI's Screen Gallery. A few weeks later, ACMI Cinemas officially opened.

In September 2009, the Australian Mediatheque and the Screen Worlds gallery opened. The Screen Worlds exhibition was opened by Cate Blanchett, who loaned her Oscar for best supporting actress for her part as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture is a free and permanent exhibition space constructed to educate the public about the moving image, a museum about moving pictures. The Mediatheque is a partnership with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), which provides a space with 12 viewing booths where people can drop in and watch films, television clips, and new media and artworks from the NFSA and ACMI collections.

2021 Renewal

In May 2019, ACMI closed to the public to begin a $40 million redevelopment. It reopened to the public in February 2021 with a new permanent exhibition The Story of the Moving Image.

ACMI partnered with Melbourne architectural firm BKK Architects, who redesigned the museum's functional layout and public spaces. Experience design firm Publicis Sapient/Second Story designed ACMI's centrepiece exhibition The Story of the Moving Image, the Gandel Digital Future Labs and the Blackmagic Design Media Preservation Lab. ACMI partnered with Melbourne chef, restaurateur, writer and television presenter Karen Martini and Michael Gebran of HospitalityM to launch its restaurant, bar and café Hero.


From 1992, John J. Smithies was Director of the State Film Centre of Victoria, until its merger with Film Victoria in 1997 formed Cinemedia. At Cinemedia, Smithies was deputy director, with prime responsibility for developing the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. He became the first director and CEO of ACMI in March 2002. He was responsible for opening the new public facilities in October 2002. After a period of turmoil, with the organisation over budget, Smithies left ACMI in 2004, and later said the facility had been forced to open while "under-funded" by the Victorian Government.

Tony Sweeney was appointed director and CEO of ACMI in 2005. Before his move to Australia, he had been the deputy director of the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (UK), and focused on developing the museum's brand profile and content strategies. He directed the museum's Imaging Frontiers masterplan re-development, which generated record visitor numbers and international critical acclaim. The museum is now seen as one of the leading international centres for culture and learning of its kind in the world. At ACMI he oversaw record organisational growth, performance and visitation, and a prolonged period of sustained success and achievement. Having spent ten years in the role, Sweeney resigned in order to return to his family in Britain.

Katrina Sedgwick was ACMI Director and CEO from February 2015–22. She moved to the new Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation (MapCo) in March 2023.

In August 2022, Seb Chan was appointed Director and CEO. Chan joined ACMI in 2015 as Chief Experience Officer. He is current President of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association.

The Story of the Moving Image

ACMI's 1,600sqm centrepiece exhibition explores the past, present and future of film, television, videogames and art, and features over 900 objects from around Australia and the world.

Costumes and objects in The Story of the Moving Image (photo by Adam Gibson)

Exhibition sections

Moving Pictures

The Story of the Moving Image begins with objects and interactive experiences that showcase people, techniques and inventions that contributed to the development of motion pictures.

Moving Worlds

Costumes, characters, set and production design, storyboarding, visual effects and Foley are featured in the Moving Worlds section to illustrate the creative processes behind iconic films, TV shows and videogames.

Moving Australia

Featuring objects and installations from Australia's screen industry, including prominent works by First Nations artists.

Games Lab presented by Big Ant Studios in The Story of the Moving Image (photo by Shannon McGrath)

Games Lab presented by Big Ant Studios

Games Lab features videogames from local and international independent developers and AAA publishers. The section contains twelve playable games, plus artworks and interpretive information about the history of videogames. Games Lab is presented in partnership with Melbourne-based game developer Big Ant Studios.

Moving Minds

Moving Minds encompasses factual media and information that traverses the history of newsreels, broadcast TV, documentary, war reporting and propaganda, citizen journalism and video art.

First Nations artworks

Artworks and installations by First Nations artists feature prominently throughout The Story of the Moving Image. Key works include Yanmeeyar, an art installation by Gunditjmara artist Vicki Couzens that is found at the beginning and the end of the exhibition; Canopy, a multi-screen installation by artist John Harvey; and the documentary My Survival as an Aboriginal by Muruwari filmmaker and activist Essie Coffey.

Interactive experiences

The Lens

A round, black, disc-shaped card being tapped on a text label on a display inside a museum
The Lens being tapped on a display in The Story of the Moving Image at ACMI (photo by Phoebe Powell)

The Lens is a handheld, take-home device that lets visitors collect artworks and objects throughout The Story of the Moving Image and other select exhibitions hosted at ACMI. Visitors can view their curated collections on the ACMI website and access additional content. The Lens was designed in collaboration with Second Story, Swinburne University’s Centre for Design Innovation and Lumicom.


The Lens can be used at the Constellation, a room-scale experience located at the end of The Story of the Moving Image exhibition, consisting of six interactive touchscreen tables with an interface developed by Grumpy Sailor and a data visualisation designed by OOM Creative and More Studio. The Constellation takes the items collected by visitors on their Lens devices throughout the exhibition and connects them up to hundreds of other films, TV series, artworks and videogames beyond the scope of the gallery. Each recommendation is handpicked by ACMI's staff.

Edit Line

An approximation of physical film editing and digital editing on screen, Edit Line allows visitors to The Story of the Moving Image to rearrange physical storyboard blocks that each represent iconic quotes from films and television shows to trigger a clip played on a large screen. The resulting clip can be saved to the Lens and accessed online. Referenced screen works include major films such as Titanic, Blade Runner, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and television shows such as The Simpsons, The Wire, and The X-Files. An accompanying essay has been published for each work on the ACMI website.

Foley Studio

Visitors can add sound effects to scenes from Round the Twist and Li'l Elvis and the Truckstoppers using unconventional objects typically used in the practice of Foley art. Videos produced can be saved to Lens devices and accessed online.

Memory Garden

An interactive and immersive display of digitised Australian home movies from the 1930s from the ACMI collection. Beams of light are projected from the ceiling that animate when visitors hold out their hands.

Shadow Play

An interactive experience in the Moving Pictures section of The Story of the Moving Image where visitors use their bodies to control virtual puppets projected in front of them.

List of exhibitions at ACMI

Gallery 1

Gallery 1 now houses the permanent exhibition The Story of the Moving Image which opened in 2021 following a renovation of the gallery. Gallery 1 is built along the entire length of what was previously Princes Bridge railway station. From 2002 to 2019 Gallery 1 was used for temporary exhibitions on the moving image such as video art, installations, interactive, sound art, net art and screen related objects were all regularly exhibited in this space.

Gallery 1 exhibitions 2002–19

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin Content Partner
Deep Space: Sensation & Immersion 26 October 2002 27 January 2003 Art Gallery of New South Wales as Space Odysseys: Sensation & Immersion
Ngarinyin Pathways Dulwan 26 October 2002 31 August 2003 ACMI Pathway Project of the Ngarinyin elders
Remembrance + the Moving Image Part I: Persistence of Vision 21 March 2003 25 May 2003 ACMI
Remembrance + the Moving Image Part II: Reverberation 27 June 2003 31 August 2003 ACMI
Transfigure 8 December 2003 9 May 2004 ACMI
2004 Australian Culture Now 8 June 2004 12 September 2004 ACMI & National Gallery of Victoria
SenseSurround 7 October 2004 7 November 2004 ACMI
Proof 9 December 2004 13 February 2005 ACMI
World Without End 14 April 2005 17 July 2005 ACMI
White Noise 18 September 2005 23 October 2005 ACMI
Stanley Kubrick 25 November 2005 29 January 2006 ACMI
2006 Contemporary Commonwealth 24 February 2006 15 May 2006 ACMI
TV50 22 June 2006 1 October 2006 ACMI
Eyes, Lies and Illusions 2 November 2006 11 February 2007 Hayward Gallery Werner Nekes Collection
Centre Pompidou Video Art 1965–2005 22 March 2007 27 May 2007 Centre Pompidou
Pixar: 20 Years of Animation 28 June 2007 14 October 2007 Museum of Modern Art Barbican Gallery
Christian Marclay 15 November 2007 3 February 2008 ACMI
Game On 6 March 2008 13 July 2008 ACMI
Correspondences: Victor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami 21 August 2008 2 November 2008 Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona
Setting the Scene: Film Design from Metropolis to Australia 4 December 2008 19 April 2009 Deutsche Kinemathek as Moving Spaces
Len Lye 16 July 2009 11 October 2009 ACMI Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Dennis Hopper & The New Hollywood 12 November 2009 25 April 2010 Cinematheque francaise
Tim Burton: The Exhibition 24 June 2010 10 October 2010 Museum of Modern Art
Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney's Classic Fairy Tales 18 November 2010 26 April 2011 New Orleans Museum of Art Walt Disney Animation Research Library
Shaun Gladwell: Stereo Sequences 1 June 2011 14 August 2011 ACMI
Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen 22 September 2011 29 January 2012 ACMI
William Kentridge: Five Themes 8 March 2012 27 May 2012 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Norton Museum of Art
Game Masters 28 June 2012 28 October 2012 ACMI
Candice Breitz: The Character 6 Dec 2012 11 March 2013 ACMI
Hollywood Costume 24 April 2013 18 August 2013 Victoria & Albert Museum
Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition 26 September 2013 23 February 2014 Contemporary Arts Center
DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition 10 April 2014 5 October 2014 ACMI DreamWorks Animation
Yang Fudong: Filmscapes 4 December 2014 15 March 2015 ACMI Yang Fudong
David Bowie is 16 July 2015 1 November 2015 Victoria & Albert Museum
Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto 9 December 2015 13 March 2016 ACMI Julian Rosefeldt
SCORSESE 26 May 2016 18 September 2016 ACMI Die Deutsche Kinemathek
Philippe Parreno: Thenabouts 6 December 2016 13 March 2017 ACMI Philippe Parreno
Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman 29 June 2017 29 January 2018 ACMI Aardman Animations
Wonderland 5 April 2018 7 October 2018 ACMI
Christian Marclay: The Clock 23 January 2019 10 March 2019 ACMI Christian Marclay

Gallery 1 exhibitions 2020 – present

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin Content Partner
The Story of the Moving Image 11 February 2021 ACMI

Gallery 2

Open from 18 September 2009, Gallery 2 is a smaller, more flexible gallery than Gallery 1.

Gallery 2 exhibitions 2009–19

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin Content Partner
Best of the Independent Games Festival 2009 8 December 2009 14 February 2010 ACMI Independent Games Festival
Mary and Max: The Exhibition 2 March 2010 6 June 2010 ACMI Adam Elliot
Bill Viola: The Raft 7 October 2010 20 February 2011 ACMI Kaldor Public Arts Projects & Melbourne International Arts Festival
Arthur and Corinne Cantrill: Light Years 8 March 2011 5 June 2011 ACMI
Julian Rosefeldt: American Night 21 June 2011 31 July 2011 Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea, Florence
Margaret and David: 25 Years Talking Movies 17 August 2011 4 December 2011 ACMI A collaboration with ABC. Supported by SBS.
Best of the Independent Games Festival 2011 20 December 2011 25 March 2012 ACMI Independent Games Festival
Best of the Independent Games Festival 2012 27 March 2012 8 July 2012 ACMI Independent Games Festival
Ian Burns: In the Telling 24 July 2012 20 January 2013 ACMI Experimenta
Warwick Thornton: Mother Courage 5 February 2013 23 June 2013 dOCUMENTA (13)
Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing: From book to film 16 July 2013 19 January 2014 ACMI Shaun Tan, Passion Pictures Australia & Books Illustrated
Angelica Mesiti: The Calling 4 February 2014 13 July 2014 ACMI A collaboration with the Ian Potter Cultural Trust
David Rosetzky: Gaps 5 August 2014 8 February 2015 ACMI Carriageworks
War Pictures: Australians at the Cinema 1914–1918 10 March 2015 26 July 2015 ACMI National Film and Sound Archive
Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood 18 August 2015 17 January 2016 ACMI A collaboration with the United States Consulate
Daniel Crooks: Phantom Ride 16 February 2016 29 May 2016 ACMI A collaboration with the Ian Potter Cultural Trust
Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose 5 June 2016 11 September 2016 ACMI Del Kathryn Barton
Collisions 6 October 2016 15 January 2017 ACMI Lynette Wallworth
Bombay Talkies 8 February 2017 2 July 2017 ACMI Dietze Family Trust
Code Breakers: Women in Games 25 July 2017 5 November 2017 ACMI
Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Studies on the Ecology of Drama 5 December 2017 25 February 2018 ACMI Eija-Liisa Ahtila
TERROR NULLIUS 20 March 2018 1 July 2018 ACMI Soda Jerk
Cleverman: The Exhibition 6 December 2018 22 April 2019 ACMI Co-curated with Cleverman concept creator Ryan Griffen and Cleverman production designer Jacob Nash.

Gallery 2 exhibitions 2021 – present

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin Content Partner
Oskar Fischinger: Raumlichtkunst 11 February 2021 28 May 2023 Centre for Visual Music
Memo Akten: Distributed Consciousness 16 June 2023 16 June 2024

Gallery 3

Open from 18 February 2021, Gallery 3 displays commissioned artworks and smaller exhibitions.

Gallery 3 exhibitions 2021 – present

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin/Partner
Gabriella Hirst: Darling Darling 18 February 2021 9 June 2021 The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission
Deborah Kelly: The God of Tiny Things 1 July 14 November 2021 ACMI
Jason Phu: Analects of Kung Phu 2 December 2021 30 January 2022 Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists
Kaylene Whiskey: Ngura Pukulpa – Happy Place 21 February 2022 10 April 2022 ACMI + Melbourne Art Foundation
Gillian Wearing: Editing Life 29 April 2022 22 May 2022 PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography
Tully Arnot: Epiphytes 4 November 2022 27 November 2022 Mordant Family VR Commission
Out of Bounds: Exploring the Limits of Videogames 8 December 2022 23 April 2023 ACMI
Two Girls From Amoonguna 9 May 2023 20 Aug 2023 ACMI + Artbank Commission
Angela Tiatia: The Dark Current 5 Sep 2023 Ian Potter Moving Image Commission

Gallery 4

Open from 18 February 2021, Gallery 4 hosts larger exhibitions and Melbourne Winter Masterpieces.

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin
Disney: The Magic of Animation 13 May 2021 23 January 2022 Walt Disney Animation Research Library
Reko Rennie: What Do We Want? 1 April 2022 1 May 2022 ACMI
Light: Works from Tate's Collection 16 June 2022 13 November 2022 Tate
How I See It: Blak Art and Film 16 December 2022 19 February 2023 ACMI
Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion 5 April 2023 1 October 2023 ACMI
Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature 23 November 2023 14 April 2024 Marshmallow Laser Feast

Gallery 5

Launched in October 2020, Gallery 5 is an online space for virtual exhibitions and performance, and a commissioning space for practitioners making art that interrogates Internet and digital culture.

Exhibition Opened Closed Origin
Lu Yang: Delusional World 11 November 2020
Matthew Griffin: content 17 December 2020 1 May 2021
Ross Gibson: head_phone_film_poems 10 June 2021
Unfinished Camp 24 September 2021 19 December 2021
Laura Duffy: Spawn 1 December 2021 6 March 2022
Firepit Collective: HYPER//ECHO 3 April 2022 1 July 2022
Xanthe Dobbie: The Long Now 11 July 2022
APHIDS: FAWN 11 October 2022
Daniel Jenatsch: The Close World – The Building 18 January 2023
Olivia Koh: Minyak Sawit Keluarga (Palm Oil Family) 1 September 2023
Emile Zile: We Are As Gods 1 November 2023


Film programs

ACMI's year-round film program celebrates local and international cinema. ACMI has two main cinemas located on Level 2 of the museum, which were the first cinemas in Australia equipped to present Digital Cinema (DCP). Today the cinemas continue to be equipped to screen analog formats including 16mm film, 35mm film, HDCAM, Digital Betacam and SP Betacam. Cinema 1 seats 168 and Cinema 2 seats 390.

ACMI's ongoing film programs include:

  • Matinees – Narrative features, classic Hollywood and arthouse restorations, documentaries, musicals and more.
  • Big Screen Premieres – Working in partnership with streaming services, including Binge, Apple TV+, Netflix, and SBS on Demand, ACMI screens episodes of TV series in its cinemas. For ACMI Members only.

Past programs include:

  • Australian Perspectives – Contemporary Australian filmmaking with archival classics and special guest presentations.
  • Family films – Regular screenings and school holiday film programs for families.

ACMI profiles actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, and film genres through its retrospective seasons and screenings. Highlights have included seasons on Wong Kar-wai, Agnès Varda, Abbas Kiarostami, Dario Argento, William Klein, John Cassavetes, and Jim Henson. Genres have included Ozploitation; Zombie Horror; East German Cinema; and Monsters, Ghouls and Melancholy Misfits in conjunction with the Tim Burton exhibition.

Public programs

ACMI programs events to industry, practitioners and the broader public through talks and workshops in person and online. Regular public programs include ACMI + RMIT Audience Lab, Women & Non-Binary Gamers Club, First Nations Film Club, and workshops for families during the school holidays.


Film festivals and events hosted at ACMI's venues are a core part of ACMI's cinema programs.

Current festival partners

Collections and preservation

The ACMI Collection contains over 250,000 items including film, ephemera, objects, videogames and time-based media art. It began in 1947 as the State Film Centre collection allowing Victorians to access film for education purposes. Since becoming part of ACMI it has diversified to include all forms of the moving image. ACMI works collaboratively both nationally and internationally with organisations including the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), the Internet Archive, MoMa, Tate, Swinburne University, RMIT University, the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, and private collectors.

Many digitised items in the ACMI Collection are accessible to the public via the ACMI website or ACMI Collection YouTube channel.

Blackmagic Design Media Preservation Lab

Located at ACMI, Fed Square on Level 1, the Blackmagic Design Media Preservation Lab is a publicly visible space where ACMI's Collection team can be viewed undertaking digital preservation, digitisation and time-based media (TBM) conservation activities.

The Lab is supported by Blackmagic Design, and was designed in collaboration with BKK Architects and Second Story.


ACMI's education program provides schools and teachers with exhibition visits, workshops, film programs, talks, online programs, professional development opportunities, free learning resources and recorded lectures.


ACMI has expanded its touring program over the past decade. Beginning with Mary and Max, which toured regional Victoria, ACMI then followed by showing the 2011 Best of the Independent Games Festival in Sydney and Brisbane; Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing: From Book To Film and War Pictures: Australians at the Cinema 1914–1918; and ACMI's first original exhibition in the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, Game Masters: The Exhibition.

Touring exhibitions


DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition – Journey from sketch to screen

Between the Details: Video Art from the ACMI Collection

  • Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla, VIC (9 December – 26 February 2023)
  • Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool, VIC (11 March – 11 June 2023)


  • The Riddoch & Main Corner Complex, Mount Gambier, SA (14 Mar – 6 September 2020)
  • Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Moreton Bay, QLD (25 Sept – 6 Dec 2020)
  • Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Corindi, NSW (19 Dec 2020 – 11 Apr 2021)
  • Gosford Regional Gallery, Gosford, NSW (22 May – 11 Jul 2021)
  • Orange Regional Museum, Orange, NSW (24 Jul – 24 Oct 2021)
  • Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, Murray Bridge, SA (11 Dec 2021 – 30 Jan 2022)
  • Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga, NSW (5 Mar – 29 May 2022)
  • Museum of the Great Southern, Albany, WA (12 Jun – 9 Oct 2022)
  • Museum of Geraldton, Geraldton, WA (3 Dec 2022 – 23 Apr 2023)
  • Museum of the Goldfields, Kalgoorlie, WA (6 May – 10 Sept 2023)

Code Breakers: Women in Games

  • Manningham Art Gallery, Melbourne, VIC (4 April – 12 May 2018)
  • Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool, VIC (21 July – 14 Oct 2018)
  • Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, VIC (27 Oct 2018 – 27 Jan 2019)
  • Swan Hill Regional Gallery, Swan Hill, VIC (8 Feb – 24 Mar 2019)
  • East Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, VIC (4 April – 19 May 2019)
  • Discovery Science and Technology Centre, Bendigo VIC (10 Oct 2019 – 13 Apr 2020)
  • Orange Regional Gallery, NSW (8 Aug – 14 Oct 2020)
  • The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich, QLD (24 Oct 2020 – 2 May 2021)
  • Cobb & Co Museum, Toowoomba, QLD (8 May – 8 Aug 2021)
  • Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, Lilydale, VIC (5 March – 15 May 2022)
  • OTAGO Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand (2 July –30 Oct 2022)
  • MOTAT, Auckland, New Zealand (2 Dec 2022– 26 March 2023)

Previously Toured

Game Masters

Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose

  • Swan Hill Regional Gallery, Swan Hill, VIC (1 Dec 2017 – 28 Jan 2018)
  • Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, QLD (16 Feb – 22 Apr 2018)
  • Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton, QLD (16 Jun – 5 Aug 2018)
  • Horsham Regional Art Gallery (18 Aug – 7 Oct 2018)
  • Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, Lilydale, VIC (20 Oct 2018 – 3 Feb 2019)
  • Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport, TAS (16 Mar – 26 May 2019)
  • Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland, NSW (27 Jul – 3 Nov 2019)
  • Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW (16 Nov 2019 – 26 Jan 2020)
  • New England Regional Art Gallery, Armidale, NSW (7 Feb – 5 July 2020)

War Pictures: Australians at the Cinema 1914–1918

  • Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla, VIC (29 Apr – 16 Jun 2016)
  • Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool, VIC (10 Sept – 13 Nov 2016)
  • Central Goldfields Art Gallery, Maryborough, VIC (29 Mar – 6 May 2018)

Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing: From Book to Film

  • Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Moreton Bay, QLD (28 Feb – 20 May 2015)
  • Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, QLD (5 May – 2 July 2015)
  • Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton, QLD (30 May – 12 Jul 2015)
  • Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Bundaberg, QLD (14 Aug – 11 Oct 2015)
  • Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, Lilydale, VIC (28 Nov – 14 Feb 2016)
  • Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland, NSW (5 Mar – 24 Apr 2016)
  • New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW (6 May – 24 Jul 2016)
  • Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, Bunbury, WA (6 Aug – 25 Sept 2016)
  • Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, Geraldton, WA (7 Oct – 26 Nov 2016)
  • Albury Library Museum, Albury, NSW (10 Dec 2016 – 22 Jan 2017)
  • Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, QLD (4 Feb – 16 April 2017)

Mary and Max: The Exhibition

Online content and programming

ACMI has a strong online presence, with regular updates being made to the ACMI website and its accounts on social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.


ACMI's main YouTube channel publishes recorded talks, interviews with artists, season trailers, screen culture essays and behind-the-scenes videos.

The ACMI Collection channel provides access to digitised works such as home videos, promotional and educational films, and stories from original analogue formats, including film or tape.

The ACMI Education channel publishes explainer videos, educational resources and films produced by students.

Cinema 3

ACMI's on-demand rental platform features new release films, classics and revivals curated by ACMI's programmers.

Gallery 5

Launched in October 2020, Gallery 5 is an online space for virtual exhibitions and performance, and a commissioning space for practitioners making art that interrogates Internet and digital culture. Commissioned artists include Lu Yang, Matthew Griffin, Ross Gibson, Jazz Money, Moorina Bonini, Kalanjay Dhir, Laura Duffy, Firepit Collective, Xanthe Dobbie, APHIDS, Daniel Jenatsch, Oliviah Koh and Emile Zile.

Stories & Ideas

ACMI publishes essays, interviews, recorded talks, behind-the-scenes videos, topical articles and recommendations related to film, television, videogames and digital art on its website. Content is produced by ACMI staff and external writers.

The Story of the Moving Image Online

An abridged online version of ACMI's centrepiece exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image, was launched in October 2020.The Story of the Moving Image Online is presented in six parts: Australian Television, Australian Film, Videogames, Blak Women on Screen, Social Video and Digital Art.

ACMI Publications

  • World Without End (2005)
  • 2006: Contemporary Commonwealth (2006) / Edited by Charles Green
  • Look both ways: daylight reverie (2007) / Gary Simmons
  • Setting The Scene: Film Design From Metropolis To Australia (2008)
  • Dennis Hopper & The New Hollywood (2009)
  • Star Voyager: Exploring Space On Screen (2011)
  • Shaun Gladwell: Stereo Sequences (2011)
  • The Woods: Candice Breitz (2012)
  • Game Masters: The Exhibition (2012)
  • Wonderland (2017)
  • The story of the moving image (2022) / edited by Matt Millikan and Sarah Tutton
  • Light: Works from Tate's Collection (2022) / edited by Kerryn Greenberg
  • How I See It: Blak Art & Film (2022) /
  • Goddess: Fierce Women On Film (2023) / by Bethany Lloyd Johnson and Matt Millikan

Commercial operations


ACMI's gift shop stocks books, curios, gifts, ACMI publications and merchandise related to screen culture. The shop collaborates with local artists to produce exclusive ranges and sustainably sourced products, and stocks exclusive merchandise designed by ACMI's in-house design team.

The Lightwell foyer space at the Flinders Street Entrance of ACMI, Fed Square (photo by Shannon McGrath)

Event spaces

  • The Story of the Moving Image – capacity: 450 standing
  • Lightwell – capacity: 450 standing
  • Underground Gallery (Gallery 4) – capacity: 700 standing
  • Swinburne Studio – capacity: 150 seated, 200 standing. The Swinburne Studio is supported by ACMI's Major Academic Partner Swinburne University of Technology.
  • Gandel Digital Future Lab 1 – capacity: 50 seated, 90 standing. The Gandel Digital Future Lab 1 is supported by ACMI's Major Philanthropic Partner The Gandel Family.
  • Boardroom – capacity: 30 seated
  • ACMI Cinemas – Cinema 1 capacity: 390 seated. Cinema 3 capacity: 168 seated.

Hero (closed)

Located in Fed Square, ACMI's restaurant, bar and café Hero featured a menu developed by Melbourne chef, restaurateur, writer and television presenter Karen Martini. Hero's menu was described as "European-focused", "seasonal" and "uncomplicated cooking packed with flavour that celebrates local Victorian produce".

Hero was designed by Melbourne-based architecture and interior design studio Chris Connell Design, drawing on aesthetic inspiration from the 1967 film PlayTime by French filmmaker Jacques Tati. Hero was operated by HospitalityM, a venture founded by Michael Gebran.

Hero closed in October 2023.

Industry partnerships and co-working


The ACMI X Industry Residency program provides an office space, resources and networking opportunities for Melbourne-based creative practitioners, startups and businesses working across film, TV, videogames and art.

ACMI X is located on Level 2 at ACMI, Fed Square, and was previously located in Southbank, Melbourne.

CEO Digital Mentoring Program

ACMI, in conjunction with the Australia Council's national Cultural Digital Program, runs a mentoring initiative for strategic technology and digital mentoring for CEOs and Directors of cultural organisations. The program is supported by the Ian Potter Foundation.

ACMI + RMIT Audience Lab

ACMI and RMIT invites game developers, filmmakers, moving image artists, technologists and individual creators to show their products and works at ACMI and gather audience feedback. Previous projects tested out at past Audience Labs include Untitled Goose Game and The Gardens Between.

ACMI + RMIT Games Prize

The ACMI + RMIT Games Prize is awarded to a graduating student from the RMIT Bachelor of Design (Games) for a work exploring the artistic potential of the medium.

Previous winners

  • 2021–22: Caleb Noller and Sarah Carlton, Sussurus
  • 2020–21: Daniel Ferguson, Completely Stretchy and Uncomfortably Sticky
  • 2019–20: David Chen, Spiritwell

ACMI + MESS partnership

ACMI's partnership with Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) saw four artists commissioned to create immersive, experimental and atmospheric sound compositions for ACMI's cinema trailers. The commissioned artists were Chiara Kickdrum, Sara Retallick, Sabine Brix and Tyler Wilay.


Foundry658 was an initiative of the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy delivered by ACMI and State Library Victoria. Foundry658 supported independent artists, small arts organisations, not-for-profits, commercial creative enterprises, early-stage entrepreneurs and creative industries practitioners to transform their ideas into sustainable businesses.

ACMI Xcel Accelerator

Launched in 2018 in partnership with LaunchVic, ACMI X offered a business accelerator program that gave creative technology practitioners access to ACMI’s audience to test, refine and promote their ideas, and to showcase outcomes to industry, investor and international audiences.


Renewal Awards

Australian Institute of Architects’ 2021 Victorian Architecture Awards

  • Winner (Interior Architecture) BKK & ACMI

Melbourne Design Awards 2021

  • Gold Winner (Interior Design Public or Institutional) BKK & ACMI

Good Design Awards 2021

  • Winner (Architectural Design Urban Design and Public Spaces)
  • Winner (Design Research)

Idea Awards 2021

  • Shortlist: Public Space – ACMI renewal

Victorian Lighting Award

  • Winner: Award of Excellence

Victorian Premier Award 2021

  • Highly Commended

Awards for The Story of the Moving Image

MAGNA (Museums & Galleries Awards)

  • Highly Commended (Story of the Moving Image, Large Organisations Category)

Good Design Awards 2021

  • Gold Winner (with Grumpy Sailor & Second Story in the ‘Digital Interface’ category for the Constellation)

SEGD Global Design Awards 2022

  • Merit Award
  • Honour award for the digital interactive experiences in The Story of the Moving Image

Brand Awards

MAPDA (Museums & Galleries Awards)

  • Winner (Identity, Large organisations Category) North & ACMI

Creative Review Magazine

  • Honourable Mention (Identity) North & ACMI

Design Week (UK)

  • Highly Commended (Identity rebrand) North

Monotype Type Champions 2020

  • Winner: ACMI

Brand New Awards

  • Winner: #1 Project of the Year

Taiwan International Graphic Design Awards 2021

  • Corporate Identity Category, Distinction

Website and Post-visit Awards

MAPDA (Museums & Galleries Awards)

  • Winner (Website, Large organisations Category)
  • Highly Commended (Virtual Tour, Large organisations Category)

Awards for Hero – Design

INDE.Awards 2021

  • Winner Hero/Chris Connell (Best Social Space)

The Australian Interior Design Awards 2021

  • Commendation: Hospitality Design, Chris Connell Design for Hero ACMI

Dulux Colour Awards 2021

  • Finalist: Commercial Interior, Public and Hospitality

Eat Drink Design Awards 2021

  • Shortlist: Best Restaurant Design, Chris Connell Design, Hero ACMI

Idea Awards 2021

  • Shortlist: Hospitality, Chris Connell Design, Hero ACMI

Awards for Hero – Food

Melbourne Awards 2021  

  • Finalist: Hospitality, Hero

Good Food Guide Victoria 2022

  • One Hat: Hero

Former attractions

Screen Worlds

Open from 18 September 2009, Screen Worlds was an evolving permanent exhibition exploring all aspects of the moving image using objects, footage and artistic installations. Screen Worlds explored the story of the moving image through a number of different sections – Emergence, Voices, Sensation, Games Lab and Kids Space.

ACMI, screen world exhibition
Some of the games on display in Screen Worlds.

The Screen Worlds exhibition hosted a number of 'Immersive Experiences'(interactive displays), including Timeslice (inspired by The Matrix), Ty the Tasmanian Tiger Zoetrope, The Faulty Fandangle (created by Oscar®-nominated Anthony Lucas), an installation by Anthony McCall, and many more.

Screen Worlds closed on April 22, 2019 to allow for redevelopment.

Video Garden

The Video Garden was an outdoor gallery that led people from the Flinders Street side of the building to the main entrance. Exhibitions included Random Encounters, Gooey by the Lycette Bros, and Blast Off.

Memory Grid

The Memory Grid was a display allowing access to over 100 hours of film that were recorded by ordinary Australians, independent filmmakers, students, community-based practitioners and participants in ACMI hands-on production workshops. Much of the content in the Memory Grid had either never been displayed outside, or had been displayed only once on community television. Further, the Memory Grid contained a large collection of animated and interactive works, and actively accepted work from the public for display.

Australian Mediatheque

Australian Mediatheque, coordinated by ACMI and the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) was a multiple screen station with access to works from ACMI and the NFSA. Admission was free. The Australian Mediatheque closed permanently in September 2017.

Screen It

Screen It was an annual filmmaking competition for primary and secondary school students, hosted by ACMI. Screen It had 6 categories: Primary Live Action, Primary Animation, Primary Videogame, Secondary Live Action, Secondary Animation and Secondary Videogame. Each year there was a theme; past themes included Change (2015) and Reflection (2014). At the end of the year, there was a Red Carpet Awards Gala for the finalists in which they announced winners and the next year's theme. The competition was cancelled after 2019's event, with ACMI citing a "[transformation] into a brand new global museum".

Games Lab

The Games Lab was ACMI's display area for interactive videogames. It celebrated the past, present and future of games and promoted this popular form of the moving image as a reflection of Australian culture.

In 2003, ACMI commissioned an interactive game-based, site specific installation called acmipark, which was exhibited in the Games Lab. acmipark replicated and abstracted the real world architecture of Federation Square. It also housed highly innovative mechanisms for interactive, multiplayer sound and musical composition.

The Games Lab exhibited the Best of the Independent Games Festival for 2005, 2006 and 2007. In early 2007, Hits of the 80s profiled Melbourne's Beam Software and the secret history of Australia's place in the rise and rise of the videogame. In 2005 an exhibition was dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog called Sonic the Hedgehog: Icon of our Times.

The Games Lab was incorporated into the Screen Worlds exhibition space.

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