Metro Screen succumbs to funding crisis as not-for-profit organisation prepares to close

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 3.59.15 PMNot for profit film and TV training and development organisation, Metro Screen, will close at the end of the year after admitting defeat in its battle to raise funds.

The body, founded in 1981, said it has been unable to find alternative funding after learning it will lose its $240,000 grant from Screen Australia, which itself has faced government budget cuts.

The Metro Screen board said the decision was made with “deep regret and considerable sadness” but was the only responsible course of action.

“Every effort has been made by Metro Screen to secure additional funding but to no avail,” chairwoman Kath Shelper said. “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.”

Chief executive Christina Alvarez said the organisation would need to secure $750,000 annually following the loss of the Screen Australia cash.

“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” she said.

Current Metro Screen programs and activities will continue unaffected until the end of the year.

Shelper said the Emerging Sector Working Party, established following the funding cut, has been leading research into talent regeneration in the screen industry with a report expected to be released in November, followed by a public forum.

She thanked Screen NSW and the City of Sydney for their “unwavering support over many years but particularly over the past 18 months”.

“The Board would also like to thank CEO Christina Alvarez and her staff for their hard work and dedication,” Shelper added.

Metro Screen was founded 1981 with funding from the Australian Film Commission to support the emerging screen community.

It has managed a range of projects and activities and helped with production development, networking and provided access to equipment and facilities.

Steve Jones 


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