Return Chute: The Survival of a Small Town Video Store

Rod O'Hara bought Bellingen Video Connection in 2018 when video stores were already considered on the way out - if not already dead. Now, years later, against all the odds and after facing many personal setbacks, Rod and the small town's local community have kept this iconic local business and bastion for lovers of television, film and screen culture alive - but for how long?

  • Simone Atallah
  • Simone Atallah
  • Mick Jones
  • Mick Jones
  • Simone Atallah
    Offline Editor
  • Ryan Burrows
    Sound Mixer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 5, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital UHD Canon XFAVC
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9 LB
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Screenwave International Film Festival 2023
    April 23, 2023
    Regional NSW Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Far South Film Festival 2023
    August 19, 2023
    Best Documentary Award
  • Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival 2023
    Sydney, Brisbane
    August 26, 2023
    Sydney premiere, QLD premiere
    Official selection
  • WTF Film Festival 2023
    October 7, 2023
    Best Film Nominee
  • SWAN Perth International Women In Film Festival 2023
    October 21, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Adelaide Film Festival
    Adelaide, South Australia
    October 22, 2023
    South Australian Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Simone Atallah

Simone Atallah is an Australian filmmaker, producer, writer, and digital content creator living and working on Gumbaynggirr country, on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

She has worked for high-calibre organisations such as The Walt Disney Company (TWDC), the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), SBS (Special Broadcasting Service), and Network Seven, and for several years in the not-for-profit and youth sectors. While at TWDC, Simone worked across major Disney+, Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic campaigns.

Simone (she/her) is of Lebanese, Maltese, and English descent. She was born in Balmain in Sydney and grew up in the small town of Bellingen.

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Director Statement

Several years ago, I moved back to my small, regional hometown of Bellingen after many years away. I was surprised and excited to see that the local video store, the same store I spent countless hours browsing and discovering films as a child and teenager, was still open.

Knowing nearly every video store in Sydney, Melbourne, and almost every other city and town worldwide had closed down, I wanted to discover who was keeping Bellingen's iconic video store alive and how long it could last.

Return Chute: The Survival of a Small Town Video Store acknowledges the passion and commitment of Rod O'Hara and his loyal customers and celebrates film and television as an art form, the value of physical media, the joy of the video store experience, and small-town spirit, connection, and community.