A man and his son laugh together in front of shelves of videos laughing from the documentary Return Chute: The survival of a small town video store.


Our short documentary Return Chute: The survival of a small town video store about Rod O’Hara and Bellingen Video Connection won the Best Short Documentary award at the Sydney Short Film Festival. This festival celebrates a range of genres through its diverse screening programme featuring amazing films from across the globe!

Congratulations to the other award winners and to all filmmakers selected for this year’s festival.

We are proud to be honoured with the award and would like to thank the SSFF team, festival judges, and staff of Randwick’s Ritz Cinemas; our friends and family who went along to the festival, and the audiences who continue to support independent films; Rod, his family and the other interviewees, and the talented Return Chute crew.

Return Chute is the story of Rod O’Hara, owner of Bellingen Video Connection, a video store still open in the age of streaming and a plethora of on-demand video platforms. Despite many business and personal setbacks, Rod and his loyal customers have kept this eclectic and iconic hidden gem for lovers of the screen arts alive. 

Our documentary was filmed in late 2022 and premiered at the Screenwave International Film Festival in April 2023. In February 2024, Rod sold Bellingen Video Connection to a couple of longtime customers. We are thrilled that the store LIVES ON!

Return Chute is directed and produced by Simone Atallah, with cinematography and editing by Mick Jones, and sound mixing by Ryan Burrows.