"The cinema has had an immense influence on modern life in its almost 120 years of history. It has fuelled the imaginations of the world, given vitality to fantasies, and has become the strongest of all educational tools. It has also supported propaganda drives and shaped attitudes and beliefs. The early history of film is, therefore, of great interest and importance. At a time when film durations were standardised at one reel (maximum 15 minutes), the 1906 Australian film drama, ""The Story of the Kelly Gang"" took a conceptual leap: it comprised six reels running well over an hour, thereby becoming the earliest known example of the modern fulllength feature film and defining the format on which today's film industries are based. It was a commercial success in Britain as well as in Australia and New Zealand. It dramatised the exploits of a gang of outlaws, demonised the police and helped cement the place of Ned Kelly as an Australian cultural icon. It also spawned a genre of ""bushranging"" films which romanticised outlaws and led to an era of draconian film censorship.
Long believed lost, fragments of The Story of the Kelly Gang began to surface in the 1970s. To date segments of the film totaling about ten minutes have been accumulated, together with related documentation, by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). Some of these fragments are visually affected by decomposition of the cellulose nitrate film base while others are in excellent condition. All have been digitised for access purpose, and are accessible on the Internet. This documentary heritage was inscribed on the International Memory of the World Register in 2007. "