News in Brief: What Melbourne’s lockdown means for screens

Plus a round-up of all the week's news and reviews from the world of Australian film, television and games.

Another outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in parts of Victoria going into a 7-day circuit-breaking lockdown until 11:59pm on Thursday 3 June. What does this mean for the screen sector?

  • Melbourne’s cinemas are shut, unless they’re virtual cinemas, and there are a lot of those, including ACMI’s Cinema 3, and Fanforce’s Virtual Indigenous Film Festival.
  • Higher education and training is closed with remote learning only.
  • As far as production is concerned, if you’re already underway and operating as a closed set, you’re probably okay to work. According to Film Victoria, ‘Feature film, television and documentary productions (excluding television commercials, student and corporate productions) that are already in physical production and operating as a closed set, and post-production relating these projects are considered Authorised Workplaces. See the list of Authorised Providers and Authorised Workers here.’
  • Could be a good time to brush up on the Australian Screen Production Industry COVID Safe Guidelines.
  • For viewers, it could also be a good time to consider spending on Australian content if you’re locked in your room. This is to support #AustralianMadeWeek (24 – 30 May). As SPA tweeted:  

AT THE CINEMA – if you’re lucky

Read: What Melbourne’s Lockdown means for the Arts sector

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Read: First Nations Filmmaker Josh Trevorrow receives Documentary Australia Foundation Fellowship

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Rochelle Siemienowicz is a journalist for Screenhub. She is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram