The organisation that helped make Australia's majordistributors more accountable for how they deal with small exhibitors has a newpresident and a new name.

Mark Sarfaty, head of the arthouse chain Dendy Cinemas, sayshe wants to use his new role as president to further strengthen the voluntarycode of conduct so that it better assists independent cinemas to gain access tofilms on reasonable terms.

"We will be working with the Australian Competition andConsumer Commission and our distribution partners to ensure that thealready-agreed-to principles are respected and abided by. In a small marketlike Australia there is always a trend towards large players dominating smallones, sometimes with anti-competitive results. The code has a valuable role toplay in levelling the playing field."

The change of name to Independent Cinema Association ofAustralia (ICAA) from the old Cinema Owners Association of Australia signifiesthat its members are not aligned with the three major chains, Village, Hoytsand Greater Union/Birch Carroll & Coyle. Also, while some members do ownsmall regional cinemas, others operate cinemas owned by large corporations.

The ICAA represents 260 of Australia's 1,900 screens and isAustralia's only exhibitor association.