After 43 years of dedicated service to the Australian Film Industry, Atlab’s managing director, Murray Forrest has announced his decision to retire. His last day will be Sept 12. Atlab has been extraordinarily fortunate to have had Murray at the helm for so much of his distinguished career.

Under his stewardship, the business has undergone massive transformation and expansion from a small black and white lab operation servicing newsreels, TV and Film Australia docos, to the broad-based creative services & distribution business it is today.

Murray’s ability to foster industry relationships globally is legendary and this has been fundamental to our success in achieving world-wide recognition in spite of our relatively small scale. He built up a level of release printing contracts with the major Hollywood film studios that has given the lab secure basis on which to weather the fluctuations in the local industry, and to expand into the newer technologies of digital post production.

Murray was the founding Chair of Ausfilm – the body set up by the industry some 15-years ago to market Australian film industry services overseas. He has been a Director of SPAA, a past president of the Australian Cinema Pioneers and a past Board Member of the Federation of Producers of Asia. He is a former Chair of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) based in the USA, and was the first Australian to be appointed to its Board of Governors. He was also the first Australian to be elected to Fellowship of the SMPTE, and also the British Kinematograph Sound & Television (BKSTS). Both fellowships were awarded “in recognition of his service to the film industry on an international scale”. Murray is currently Chair of the Motion Picture Industry Benevolent Society.

In 2001, he was the recipient of the AFI’s Ken G Hall Award, in recognition of his contribution to the preservation of Australia’s film heritage, and in the same year he was named Australian Cinema Pioneer of the Year. In 2004, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Motion Picture Exhibitors Association.

[Release by Atlab Group]

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