Doco featuring Bellingen Video Connection a national success

Rod O’Hara bought Bellingen Video Connection in 2018 when video stores were considered dead. Against all odds, the store survives – but for how long?

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, 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.

The teaser trailer is here,

“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 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 the 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 made available online.

However, please follow @AviatrixFilms on Facebook and Instagram for news about the film and screenings.


Leave a Reply