Indie distribs salute Hobart cinema

13 October, 2014 by Don Groves

John Kelly’s role in transforming Hobart’s 100-year-old State Cinema into a highly successful seven-screen complex which attracts more than 200,000 patrons each year has been recognised.

The exhibitor received the Independent Spirit Award from the Australian Independent Distributors Association (AIDA) at the 69th Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast on Monday night.


Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason presented Kelly with the award, which recognises an individual whose career has been based primarily in Australian independent exhibition, distribution or production and who has made a significant contribution to the success of independent fllms.

Voted by AIDA members, previous recipients include Ingrid van den Berghe from Luna Palace Cinemas, WA (2013), retired Greater Union exhibitor John Politzer (2012) and Bob Parr, head of programming for South Australia's Wallis Cinemas (2011).

The other honorees at the AIDA dinner were:

Best suburban cinema – Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Cremorne
Presented by: Alaric McAusland – MD Deluxe Australia
Accepted by: Paul Dravet – GM

Best regional cinema – Arts Cinema Gold Coast
Presented by: Backtrack writer-director Michael Petroni
Accepted by: Mika Mantykivi – Cinema Supervisor

Best New Zealand cinema – Academy Cinemas Auckland
Presented by: Downunder director Abe Forsythe
To be accepted by: Elizabeth Ireland – Manager

Among the indie films being shown at the convention are Madman’s crime drama Nightcrawler, about a young man who stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Dan Gilroy; Rialto’s Love is Strange, a drama written and directed by Ira Sachs about a New York same-sex couple who decide to get married after 40 years, starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei; and Icon’s Still Alice, the tale of a university professor who has early-onset dementia, starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Kate Bosworth.