Thank you to Coffs Coast News of the Area for the interview and article about Return Chute: The survival of a small town video store’s journey so far.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to our short documentary film about Rod O’Hara and one of the last video stores in Australia, Bellingen Video Connection.

Our experience has been terrific, and we’re very grateful to Rod and everyone who appears in the documentary, the wonderful film festival teams, the sponsors who ensure those festivals happen, and the audiences who continue to support filmmakers, actors, and crew.

Newspaper article about short documentary Return Chute titled "Doco featuring Bellingen Video Connection a national success" with photos of store owner Rod O'Hara

Doco featuring Bellingen Video Connection a national success

A DOCUMENTARY depicting and detailing the precarious endurance of Bellingen’s Video Connection store is becoming a national success.

Director and producer Simone Atallah, who hails from Gumbaynggirr Country herself, has filmed and interviewed the store’s owner, Rod O’Hara to create the short documentary called Return Chute: The Survival of a Small Town Video Store. 

“Since its world premiere at SWIFF in April, the documentary has had quite the journey,” Simone told News Of The Area.

Return Chute has just been selected for the prestigious Adelaide Film Festival 2023 and will screen twice before the feature documentary SCALA!!! on 22 and 27 October.

The film was awarded Best Documentary at the Far South Film Festival.

It screened in Sydney and Brisbane as part of the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival along with the 1980s adventure classic The Last Starfighter.

It has also been selected for SWAN – The Perth International Women In Film Festival on 21 October and Canberra’s WTF (What The Film) Festival on 7 October.

Return Chute profiles Rod O’Hara and explores the people and reasons behind the iconic Bellingen Video Connection’s endurance in the age of global streaming.

Rod talks about his business and personal setbacks, and several past owners, employees, and customers are also interviewed.

“Return Chute celebrates the love of screen arts, physical media, and the video store experience and highlights the value of connection and community spirit by asking why Bello’s store survives,” said Simone.

“I grew up in Bellingen, and when I moved back home in early 2019, I was surprised and excited to see the store still open.

“My aim in making the documentary was to tell the story of Rod and Bellingen Video Connection, but also to raise awareness of the store, hoping to attract more customers and business. 

“As a community, Bellingen and the Mid North Coast are uniquely privileged to have this wonderful, vast and diverse collection of screen art. 

“Unfortunately, the store is struggling financially, but it’s too amazing to lose.”

While Return Chute is showing at film festivals and is under consideration for more festivals, it cannot be available online. However, please follow @AviatrixFilms on Facebook and Instagram for news about the film and screenings.