Wht is The SCREEN Fund?
The SCREEN Fund is a grant opportunity to support independent cinemas who have had significant declines in revenue due to COVID-19.
The SCREEN Fund is a $20 million fund made available by the Australian Government and administered by Screen Australia.
It supports the viability and recovery of independent cinema businesses in an environment where they are still returning to normality as the vaccine rollout progresses and Australia moves towards higher audience capacities.
Under the first round of grant funding, $10.335 million has been allocated to 198 independent cinemas around the country. Applications for the first round of funding ceased on 24 December 2021.
Grants under the second round of funding will be available to eligible cinemas, including locations funded in the first round, which can demonstrate that their box office revenue for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021, was more than 30 per cent below their box office revenue for the corresponding period in 2019.
All other eligibility requirements for the second round of funding will be the same as for the first round.
The SCREEN Fund will provide one-off grants to independent cinema operators who can demonstrate a 30% or greater decline in box office compared with the relevant pre-COVID period.
The amount depends on reported box office revenue for that cinema location during the pre-COVID period:
- $35,000 per location reporting below $1 million box office
- $60,000 per location reporting between $1 million and $3 million box office
- $85,000 per location reporting over $3 million box office.
The SCREEN Fund is aimed at Australian independent cinema operators. An eligible applicant must:
- be the Australian entity that manages and controls the independent cinema business at the location(s);
- have an ABN;
- not be owned or controlled by a listed entity, foreign entity or a government entity (including a State or local government entity);
- confirm that the film exhibition business is the primary business at the location;
- normally provide film exhibition at the location all year round (i.e. at least operating during all school holiday periods throughout the year) and is currently trading;
- demonstrate that their box office revenue for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021 was more than 30 per cent below their box office revenue for the corresponding period in 2019;
- the claimed box office must be supported with evidence from an industry accepted third party box office reporting service (Numero or Comscore box office reporting, at the applicant’s election). Screen Australia cannot accept claimed box office reported outside of these industry accepted services; and
- establish that the cinema location was financially viable before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a representation to that effect from the applicant’s accountant. Applicants will be expected to provide a short commentary as to how they intend to use the funds to assist the businesses to recover in the post-pandemic environment.
Applicants will be expected to provide a short commentary as to how they intend to use the funds to assist the businesses to recover in the post-pandemic environment.
The SCREEN Fund does not provide support to the major Australian theatre chains Event Cinemas, Hoyts Cinemas, Village Cinemas and Reading Cinemas including their alternate brands.
It does not provide support to film festivals, film clubs and touring film programmes, screens located in or at educational institutions, membership clubs and libraries and locations where exhibition is not the primary business such as mixed arts venues and performing arts centres.
Screen Australia has the right to make an exception to the above eligibility criteria where there are compelling factors relating to the impact of the cinema location on communities and regional areas. Any such decision is completely at the discretion of Screen Australia and its decision will be final.
Applications close 29 April 2022, or until total funds are committed.