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Appointment Boon For Local And NZ Film Industry

Appointment Boon For Local And NZ Film Industry

The appointment of a member of the New Zealand film industry to an international film body is being held up as a boon for the promotion of the industry to the global market.

Film Otago Southland (FOS) executive Manager Kevin (KJ) Jennings has been appointed to the 2013 Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Board of Directors, giving New Zealand a seat at the influential organisation’s table.

The association is the official professional and educational organisation for regional and national film offices worldwide, with more than 300 member offices. AFCI members assist feature film, television, commercial and stills production. FOS represents the film industry for the southern half of the South Island, including Queenstown Lakes, Southland, Central Otago, Dunedin, Waitaki and Clutha Districts.

“This is a real honour, I look forward to working with the AFCI board, but more than that I see this as a fantastic opportunity to promote the region and New Zealand in general to the wide range of contacts associated with the board. This will give me unprecedented access and an opportunity to engage with a global market,” Mr Jennings said.

AFCI executive director Kevin Clark was delighted to welcome New Zealand membership to the board. “The impact of our organisation is driven by the vitality and diversity of its membership,” Mr Clark said. “I look forward to working with Kevin to further AFCI’s global initiatives.”

The current board of directors had representation from Sweden, Jordan, Uruguay, England, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and the United States. In addition, the AFCI had an advisory board that consisted of an influential group from studios, producers, international location scouts, and the Motion Picture Association of America.

The New Zealand Film Commission applauded Mr Jennings’s appointment.

"Having a New Zealander on board this association is a real coup for the New Zealand screen industry – particularly someone so capable of promoting what we do, and so passionate about the great work that is done here. I want to congratulate KJ, and I know his commitment will make a real difference,” said NZFC chief executive Graeme Mason.

Film Otago Southland board chairman Dave Comer said the appointment could not be underestimated. “KJ has shown that being from a remote region doesn’t mean you can’t have a global reach. I’m sure he will add value to the AFCI in the same way he is contributing to the local and national industry in NZ” Mr Comer said.

"The film industry worldwide is built on networking and strategic relationships, and KJ's appointment to the AFCI board will bring an inside advantage to the film industry in this region and New Zealand by multiplying his contacts and enhancing his capability."

Figures released through Statistics NZ annual Screen Industry Survey showed expenditure of $29 million on production and post-production in the Otago and Southland regions, and nationally film production and television broadcasting pushed gross revenue for the screen industry to $2.999 billion in 2011.
“Otago and Southland have enjoyed a massive surge in production over the past year, with feature films, The Hobbit, Two Little Boys, Walking with Dinosaurs, The Weight of Elephants, L'Oncle Charles and the Television Drama Top of the Lake, adding to on-going workflow of television commercials that are the established backbone of the local industry.”
“These projects bring jobs and investment to the region and country, with the added bonus of ongoing exposure once the film goes to market,” Mr Jennings said.
The appointment came with a travel grant from the AFCI and a New Zealand Film Commission Professional Development Scholarship, together with funding from the FOS partners.

ENDS

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