Screenworks has made the difficult decision to cancel its Business of Producing event scheduled to be held in Ballina next week.

Earlier this week, Screenworks started to provide updates in relation to the Business of Producing event and COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). During the week, it has been monitoring all relevant health authority websites that have been set up specifically to keep event attendees and speakers updated about COVID-19.

Due to multiple factors including concerns for staff and other risks, Screenworks has decided that it is in the best interests to cancel the event and allow for attendees and speakers to cancel any travel plans and make other relevant arrangements.

“Screenworks has decided to show leadership in these unprecedented times,” explained Screenworks Chairperson Dustin Clare. “We have been continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent advice. We have taken into account the wellbeing of our staff, attendees and the local community at large and made the decision to cancel our premier event, the Business of Producing for 2020. We look forward to hosting this wonderful Regional Australian event next year and welcoming guests to our beautiful region then.”

Screenworks had lined up over 30 of Australia’s most accomplished screen producers and industry executives to speak at the event who were to travel from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Ballina.

“Our entire team are devastated that we have to cancel after putting so many months work into what was going to be an outstanding event”, said Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch, “With the situation changing daily we believe that this is the right decision at this point in time.”

“We are committed to continuing to providing opportunities to regional screen practitioners during these unprecedented times and will be making further announcements in the coming weeks.”

AACTA and Screenworks remain committed to the AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes in Partnership with Screenworks initiative and we will be announcing an alternative for the pitching finale in the coming weeks. AACTA, alongside Screenworks, will continue to monitor the public health situation and thank all entrants for their patience and understanding. The announcement of our five finalists, originally scheduled for Monday March 16, will now be Friday March 20.

Screenworks will be contacting all ticket holders in relation to ticket refunds.

Screenworks has provided a list of FAQs below

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SCREENWORKS BUSINESS OF PRODUCING CANCELLATION 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Will Business of Producing be rescheduled to take place later this year?

We will update our members via social media communications as we have more information to share about future events and opportunities for regional screen practitioners in regional Australia.

Will the AACTA pitch be rescheduled for at a later date?

Screenworks are working with AACTA to establish an alternative approach to delivering the final stages of the AACTA Pitch: Regional Landscapes initiative. AACTA and Screenworks will make announcements about AACTA Pitching in the near future.

Will you refund my ticket?

Yes, your ticket will be refunded. Screenworks will be contacting every one who has purchased tickets in regards to the refund process. An email will be sent from Eventbrite in the next 24-48 hours to all ticket holders.

What about if I have organised flights or accommodation?

Screenworks recommends that you contact the relevant airline or accommodation provider to discuss the booking and their current Coronavirus policies.

Will any sessions be made available virtually?

At this time, there are no plans to make any scheduled sessions or panels available virtually. We will consider future event opportunities to feature the speakers that we had lined up for the Business of Producing.

Why did you wait until now to cancel?

Screenworks board has been discussing this situation at length over the past fortnight. Since the World Health Organisation has classified the virus as a pandemic, we feel unable to ignore our responsibility towards the wellbeing of conference attendees, guest speakers, volunteers, suppliers and Screenworks staff. We feel that making this decision now will afford enough time for attendees to organise ticket and travel refunds as necessary.

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