Independent Cinemas Australia (ICA) welcomes the publication by Screen Australia of detailed guidelines for the SCREEN Fund providing support for Australian independent cinemas.
ICA also welcomes the Morrison Government’s decision to retain at 40 per cent the Producer Offset rate for Australian feature films with a theatrical release. The decision recognises the special place of feature film in the screen ecosystem and shows an ongoing commitment to cinema exhibition in this country.
“ICA members play a crucial role in bringing Australian stories to the big screen and this is one of the only aspects of the cinema business that has been enhanced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very relieved that the Government has both reinstated their 40 percent offset support for Australian feature films and recognised in the SCREEN Fund the importance and role of independent cinemas to communities all across Australia.” said Adrianne Pecotic CEO of ICA
“I particularly commend Screen Australia for the speedy publication of the Fund guidelines and for working closely with ICA to understand the needs of the independent cinema sector. Independent cinemas are desperate for these relief funds after more than a year of privation and I am confident the Government, through Screen Australia, will deliver on that need.”
In 2019, independent cinemas generated over 90 percent of the box office for 22 individual Australian titles including four films in the Top 20 Australian Films.
Despite the severe challenges of COVID-19 during 2020 and 2021, the commitment of ICA members to Australian films did not fail. ICA and Roadshow conducted a very effective prize promotion for RAMS and our members embraced Screen Australia’s Our Summer of Cinema campaign with unprecedented success for local films like The Dry, Penguin Bloom, High Ground and Firestarter.
“We see this as an important opportunity to engage closely with Screen Australia on strategies to promote Australian feature films as we support independent exhibitors as they recover from the pandemic.” Said Scott Seddon President of ICA.
“Effective marketing of cinema releases to local communities has never been more important to the viability of independent cinemas. We look forward to working with Screen Australia to ensure every Australian can experience and enjoy our local stories at the cinema and every eligible exhibitor can receive urgently needed relief.”
Independent cinemas employ thousands of Australians and contribute to the vibrancy of local communities and business precincts. They also play an important role in bringing Australian films to Australian audiences, particularly in regional Australia, where most cinemas are run by independent operators.