It is with deep regret and considerable sadness that the Board of Directors of Metro Screen has announced that the Sydney-based organisation will close at the end of 2015.
With Screen Australia funding to cease at the end of 2015 and no viable alternative funding available, Chair of the Metro Screen Board Kath Shelper said that the only responsible option was to wind down operations.
“Every effort has been made by Metro Screen to secure additional funding but to no avail. We need to be responsible to our staff and ensure we are able to meet our obligations to them, and therefore it is with regret that the Board has made the decision to close Metro Screen in December 2015,” Ms Shelper said.
The Screen Australia funding of $240,000 was directed solely to core operational costs (overheads). Metro Screen CEO Christina Alvarez said to cover this loss, the challenge has been to secure approximately $750,000 annually in new projects: “Whilst Metro Screen has successfully secured some significant high profile projects in the past 12 months, unfortunately the target has not been met. Financial sustainability can not be achieved through downsizing the organisation.”
The current Board Directors of Metro Screen are Kath Shelper (Chair), Stephen Boyle, Jarod Green, Cassie Jackson, Claire Morgan, Cate Smith, Gary Williams and Malinda Wink.
Ms Shelper said the Emerging Sector Working Party, which was established following the funding cut, has been guiding research about talent regeneration in the screen industry and the resulting report is expected to be released in November, with a public forum to be held soon after. Working Party members include independent producers Liz Watts, Martha Coleman and Alex White, ADG’s Kingston Anderson, SPA’s Matt Hancock, Metro Screen Board Members Jarod Green and Kath Shelper and CEO Christina Alvarez.
“Metro Screen would particularly like to acknowledge and thank Screen NSW and the City of Sydney for their unwavering support over many years but particularly over the past 18 months,” Ms Shelper said. “And the Board would also like to thank CEO Christina Alvarez and her staff for their hard work and dedication”.
Established in 1981 with funding from the Australian Film Commission, Metro Screen is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the emerging screen community. Metro Screen has grown over the past decade to manage a span of projects and activities across all screen formats, large and tiny, with a passionate commitment to supporting a diversity of voices amongst emerging practitioners with hands-on production, networking opportunities, skills development and access to equipment and facilities.
Current Metro Screen programs and activities will continue unaffected until the end of the year.
Further details about the research report and forum will be announced in October.
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
Ph: 8333 9066 or 0419 221 493
CLOSURE FACT SHEET
In taking the decision to close Metro Screen it will be business as usual until the end of this year (2015) as follows:
- The Emerging Filmmaker Fund will continue with shortlisted applicants to be contacted in early October.
- The Breaks production program and Emerging Producer Placement scheme will be supported through to the end of this year as scheduled.
- Current training programs will continue as scheduled. Students will receive specific details regarding graduation and internships.
- Jumpstart subsidies are available until year-end.
- Digital Escalator will remain open until year-end.
- Film Festivals Australia members will receive a direct update on plans.
- We will continue to hire equipment & facilities until December.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are currently participating in a Metro Screen activity and have a specific query.