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Cinema Post Pandemic 14, 21 and 28 MAY 2020  





This year the event returned to the beautiful Palace Cinemas, Como in Melbourne and was projected in pure, brilliant Christie laser technology.


Our Gold Sponsor Christie featured the CP2315-RGB designed to give exhibitors the latest innovation in RGB at lower cost of operation versus Xenon.


The Gala Dinner on Wednesday May 1st celebrated independent cinema at the Olympic Room of the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. 


Our 2019 event focused on helping choose the best suppliers and best outcomes – brilliant entertainment that increases yield – and better operations that deliver the most sustainable businesses at each unique location.


Digital disruption is starting to bite and global consolidation among exhibitors, distributors and equipment suppliers’ present real challenges in the independent sector. Increasing competition for patron’s leisure time and the increasing costs and complexity of the cinema business can be exhausting. Exhibitors are inundated by competing suppliers, film content choices and complex marketing options.



ICA Conference 2019 program


ICA Conference 2019 Speaker and Panel Biographies




Don Shaw from our Gold Sponsor Christie announced David Pye of ACE Cinemas as recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award

Adrianne Pecotic was delighted to select our ICA President Scott Seddon for the Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Independent Cinema



ICA Conference 2018



The New Customer Equation was an outstanding success attracting around 200 delegates to trade presentations, distributor presentations, business development seminars, panel discussions and the gala dinner celebrating another record-breaking year.


In 2018 the ICA Conference theme focused on The Point Of Difference – how to develop the unique selling point that attracts new customers to your business and how to increase the frequency and value of visits to independent cinemas in Australia.


A key insight from the MPDAA’s SARA research was that Comfort, Convenience and Choice determines how cinema customers perceive value. With competing leisure options and an increasingly competitive commercial environment it is critical to get the formula right. Every exhibitor needs to understand and apply this new customer equation to maximise returns for each individual business. As always the ICA Conference focused on how exhibitors and suppliers can best work strategically together to increase attendance at our cinemas, and reinforce and continually improve the unique entertainment experience that can only be found at an independent cinema.


ICA brought key business speakers together to address the theatrical exhibition business against the backdrop, challenges and rewards of the latest research and technology innovations.


Our aim is to provide the equipment, programming and marketing information exhibitors need to grow the business, deliver comfort, convenience and choice to customers, and use digital to its full potential.



ICA Conference Full Program  - printed program


ICA Conference 2018 Speaker and Panel Biographies



Mike Bosworth from Christie Gold Sponsor of the ICA Conference and Gala dinner presenting the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Chris Mitchell
Mike Bosworth from Christie Gold Sponsor of the ICA Conference and Gala dinner presenting the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Chris Mitchell
2018 Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Cinema winner Nick Hayes with ICA CEO Adrianne Pecotic and ICA President Scott Seddon
2018 Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Cinema winner Nick Hayes with ICA CEO Adrianne Pecotic and ICA President Scott Seddon
ICA Conference 2017


"Congratulations on continuing your high conference standards. A valuable conference that we take home some immediately implementable ideas from." Greg Barbour, Alice Springs Cinema


For more conference feedback click here


‘The New Customer Equation’ 2017 ICA conference focused on the insights from the 2016 MPDAA SARA Research, providing a framework for discussion and analysis at our popular business sessions. A range of fellow exhibitors and industry experts examined how to deliver new customers to your business and how to increase the frequency and value of visits to independent cinemas in Australia.

For the first time, ICA introduced an afternoon of more intensive training sessions on Monday 1st May designed for independent operators and their senior staff to deep dive into specific areas of cinema operations, marketing and finance. 


2017 Conference Program

2017 Speaker and Panel Biographies 




Peter Drinkwater from Screen Audience Research Australia and House of Brand outlined key actions indie exhibitors can take right now to improve attendance and profitability by increasing perceived value in your brand and the customer's experience of your cinema.

Martin Grunstein, The Customer Service Expert, outlined how you and your team can convert these actions into customer service that delivers measurable results at the Box Office and Candy Bar.


Presentations from major studios included Disney, Fox, Paramount, Roadshow, Sony, Universal and indie distributors Icon, Transmission, eOne and Madman.

SUPPLIER PRESENTATIONS on the latest innovations from Gold Sponsor Christie, together with Hoyts Cinema Technology Group and Hollywood Software including our 20:20 Exhibitor Training Intensive.

Anthos Simon, General Manager for Silver Sponsor, Edge Digital Technology presented a case study on how Event Cinemas have innovated 'front of house' deploying a digital signage system and tailored content to better attract patrons and increase per capital spend


Dev Verhoevan from Deakin University gave an update on fascinating research into indie cinema pricing followed by a panel discussion on this hotly debated topic.


The ICA Conference featured thought provoking sessions directly relevant to the business of exhibition.

Andrew Cloke, partner from Price Waterhouse Coopers, presented on Getting Your Cinema Ready For Sale or Succession - a must for every exhibitor whether a family business, multi-site circuit or both!


Industry members gathered for the Gala Dinner at The Establishment Ballroom on the last night of the conference and cheered Andrew Ward who was presented the ICA Lifetime Achievement Award by Mike Bosworth Managing Director of Christie Gold Sponsor of the ICA Conference and Gala Dinner.

Andrew Ward presented the ICA Lifetime Achievement Award by Mike Bosworth MD Christie and Gold Sponsor of the ICA Conference and Gala Dinner

I’m very humbled to receive this award, I didn’t expect it, my life in film has been a big buzz and I wouldn’t choose any other industry to be in.” Said Andrew on receiving his award.


The Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Cinema was awarded to Benjamin Zeccola who encapsulated his feelings of the award and ICA by saying “Thank you, this means so much to me, but it’s a team effort.The thing I’ve loved about joining ICA is the connection we have to each other. Realising that there are so many other family business faced with the similar challenges relieved the burden somewhat.


So when I look around this room I see mentors, Friends and competitors who are actually pretty friendly and COMPETITION IS GOOD. The better our competition is, the better our businesses will also be.”

Benjamin Zeccola accepting the CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Cinema


The annual Independent Cinemas Australia (ICA) Conference is the ‘must attend’ event on the film industry calendar for everyone seeking to connect with independent cinema owners, distributors and suppliers. With ICA representing over 80% of commercial independent cinema owners, and over 830 screens in Australia and New Zealand, we are well placed to introduce members and suppliers and help facilitate successful and profitable partnerships across the independent cinema sector. 


Feedback from ICA Member on 2016 Conference


 ICAA Conference 2016

2016 ICA Conference Program

Sessions included:

•    9 distributor presentations including our Gold Sponsor 20th Century Fox
•    Keynote addresses on the Media Entertainment Outlook from PWC and cinema innovation case studies at home and abroad from award winning independent exhibitors John Kelly and Michael Smith
•    The latest developments in cinema operations from Christie Digital Systems, and in point of sale from the Vista Group
•    A tour of the Superpop factory featuring special ‘one day only’ equipment offers and prices for exhibitors attending on the day
•    ACCC Update on new protections for small business on unfair business contracts
•    A forum on Australian Women In Film in support of the Natalie Miller Fellowship, featuring an expert panel and case study on the success of The Dressmaker.


The Dressmaker Case Study included a Movio presentation on the significance of our female audience


The Dressmaker Audience Evolution Analysis (video of Movio case study presentation. Note there is an audio issue with the video that has minimised as much as possible)


Industry members gathered at the Gala Dinner on the final night gave a standing ovation to Allan Stiles, Managing Director of Grand Cinemas. Allan was presented the ICA Lifetime Achievement Award by Marc Wooldridge Managing Director of Twentieth Century Fox who commended Allan on over 50 years contribution to and outstanding achievements in the film industry with Grand Cinemas.


 Allan Stiles with Marc Wooldridge, Managing Director 20th Century Fox

 “I feel very humble & honoured to receive this prestigious award & to be recognised for my contribution & benevolence to the industry by my Peers for just doing what I love.” Said Allan on receiving his award.


The Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Cinema was awarded to Denis Parkes.

Denis Parkes with Adrianne Pecotic, CEO ICAA 

Denis Parkes is proud owner and hands on manager of The Picture Show Man Theatre in Merimbula NSW a modern two screen complex.  Denis is a long standing member of ICA and is a past president.  Denis was awarded the ICA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and very proud to now be the recipient of the Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Cinema. Denis is Chairman of the committee to establish the Mark Sarfaty Cinema and Performing Arts Benevolent Fund, working tirelessly through red-tape for 5 years to get charity status for the fund.




Dendy Cinemas


The 2015 ICA Conference brought delegates together in Sydney at beautiful Dendy Cinemas Opera Quays. The theme of the conference was Redefining the Cinema Experience and focused on the core business of content and marketing against the backdrop, challenges and rewards of full digital conversion. It provided delegates with information on how to help their businesses be robust, financially sustainable and deliver the most engaging, relevant and valuable cinema experience into the future.


2015 Conference Agenda HERE

The 2014 Conference had the theme of Growing The Market and saw the launch of the My Cinema Marketing Platform. The platform brings ICA member exhibitors together in a national umbrella circuit featuring a national brand identity. In 2015 we saw the launch of the My Cinema Premiere initiative, a new special event preview screening series at independent cinemas in a premium environment. The launch title for this exciting initiative was the new Australian feature ‘LAST CAB TO DARWIN’. To read more CLICK HERE



ICA Lifetime Achievement Award

Mr Russell Anderson, Sales Director, 20th Century Fox was the 2015 recipient of ICA's award for Lifetime Achievement for Independent Cinema.  The Award was presented by Mr Bob Parr, Wallis Cinemas.



Mark Sarfaty CEO Award

In memory of the late Mark Sarfaty, ICA's inaugural CEO, the ICA CEO this year recognised Bob Parr for his outstanding work for and on behalf of Independent Cinemas. The award was presented by Mr Russell Anderson, 20th Century Fox.


 Russell Anderson & Bob Parr

ICA Award Winners



ICA Lifetime Achievement Award

Mark Sarfaty CEO Award for Outstanding Service to Indie Cinemas






David Pye

Chris Mitchell

Andrew Ward

Allan Stiles

Russell Anderson

Scott Seddon

Nick Hayes

Benjamin Zeccola

Denis Parkes

Bob Parr


Leo Catalano

Robert Reeve


Antonio Zeccola

Kieren Dell


Robert Ward

Ross Entwistle & Barry Peak – Inaugural Award


Lorna Wallis



Natalie Miller



Andrew Pike



Denis Parkes



Join ICA Now and benefit from Conference Member Registration Rates, simply contact the Secretariat for an Application Form.



Pauline Negline
P: 02 9858 1179
F: 02 8569 0119
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