RIP ICAA chief executive Mark Sarfaty

03 November, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Mark Sarfaty, chief executive of the Independent Cinemas Association of Australia, has passed away.

The announcement was made late last night (Wednesday) by the ICAA Board.


“Mark has been a wonderful CEO and will be sadly missed by the board and the people he touched throughout the industry,” the statement said.

“Mark fought tirelessly for independent cinemas, with a vision and perseverance seldom encountered. He was a fierce competitor and [a] talented, intelligent leader.

“He has inspired us greatly; we are thankful to have had his leadership during the challenges of recent times and we will continue his work in improving the future competitiveness of independent cinema in Australia.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and especially with his daughter Matilda.”

He had been the chief executive of ICAA since August, 2007.

Sarfaty, a former IF Magazine contributor, dedicated his life to media and film distribution/exhibition. He was even a former journalist at Rolling Stone.

At the turn of the century, Sarfaty became the head of Dendy Cinemas before resigning in 2007. He was appointed chief executive of the Sydney Film Festival in mid-2008, and reduced the length of the 2009 festival from 19 to 12 days – increasing daily attendance by almost 40 per cent on the previous year. He stepped down in August, 2009.

Sarfaty was co-chair of the Australian Cinema Exhibitors Coalition (ACEC), however its functions were largely replaced following the launch of the National Association of Cinema Operators (NACO).

Representing ICAA, he was instrumental in implementing digital projection strategies and was in negotiations with US studios to create a Virtual Print Fee (VPF) agreement for the local independent sector. He told IF in late-August that the ICAA had completed negotiations with a second distributor following the initial deal struck with Paramount in February this year.

UPDATE, NOVEMBER 8:  While a private family funeral will be held, a public tribute to Mark Sarfaty will take place on Friday, December 2 at 1.30pm (for a 2pm start). The tribute, remembering his life and achievements, will be held at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, 380 Military Road, Cremorne, NSW. It is asked that guests RSVP for catering purposes, to Pauline Negline, either by email or phone [(02) 9858 1179]. 

IF encourages you to post a comment, remembering the late Mark Sarfaty.

The late Mark Sarfaty