Exhibition sector split by government relief funds

The indie exhibitors tug regional heartstrings to get support funds while multiplexes left out in the cold.

The federal government has announced a $20m package of support to assist independent cinema operators, catchily named SCREEN or the Supporting Cinemas Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods fund. It will be run by Screen Australia to ‘assist independent cinema operators who who have experienced significant declines in revenue due to the pandemic with one-off business continuity grants’, according to the release.

But the National Association of Cinema Operators (NACO) has told the government that this support ignores the majority of the exhibition sector, which includes Village and Event Cinemas. Instead, it has backed only three in every ten jobs in exhibition. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.