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Regional film offices form strategic alliance

Regional film offices form strategic alliance

Regional film offices (RFO’s) are known internationally as Film Commissions and partner alongside other stakeholders to enable access, stimulate screen production, attraction, marketing and sector development. RFO members are internationally accredited film commissioners.

Regional Film Offices NZ (RFONZ) has become the national body for New Zealand RFO’s, allowing for optimum engagement and coordination of activities critical to the growth of the screen industry in New Zealand. The Regional Film Offices have recently brought this new group under the umbrella of the Economic Development Agencies of New Zealand (EDANZ - the national organisation for regional economic development) in order to network more effectively with key regional partners.

“I am excited that we will be able to market new initiatives to our expanded global networks by working together with a cohesive strategy.” says Samantha Seath – Chair of RFONZ and Executive Director for EDANZ. This new group will be in a unique position to capitalise on the huge opportunities for the NZ screen sector by aligning a national strategy to their regional remits. Regional Film Offices ensure that regional screen activity is aligned with local economic development activities.

“Wellington’s focus on the Screen and Digital Sector ensures Wellington and NZ has the capability, connections and support to enable the industry to keep growing internationally. The screen sector is very important to the Wellington economy with more than 1000 businesses contributing $870 million in 2012” – says Grow Wellington’s, Chief Executive, Gerard Quinn.

RFONZ members are a talented and globally connected group with strong international connections. Kevin Jennings (Executive Director, Film Otago Southland) is a second term Board member on the AFCI (Association of Film Commissions International) and Michael Brook (Manager, Film Auckland) is a Director on AFCNet (Asian Film Commissions network).

“The NZ offering is the sum of the parts from within our regions, RFONZ is committed to developing a cohesive strategy to best serve the NZ screen industry, both here and offshore” – says Kevin Jennings.

Regional Film Offices are core to developing ease of access for the screen industry and for ensuring safe and cost effective access to key locations.

“A key focus for RFOs is their work in securing and facilitating key locations. The Auckland Council Film Protocol was designed to achieve this and has been shared with RFONZ colleagues in the spirit of collaboration” says Michael Brook, Manager, Film Auckland

With an industry led focus, RFONZ will be able to reach out to businesses in the sector to ensure that regional screen activity meets the needs of sector businesses.

Chief Executive of Film New Zealand, Gisella Carr welcomes the news.

“Film New Zealand has worked with regional film offices in co-ordination and facilitation capacity for many years and we’re delighted to see them now create their own organisation. We look forward to working with RFONZ in the future.”

“Individual Regional Film Offices have been working together informally for many years but agree that this is a pivotal moment for the screen industry in New Zealand and look forward to being able to provide a single voice of advocacy for the development of the screen sector in the regions. This will benefit the industry nationally.” – says Ms Seath”.

“We welcome the news and the coordination role it brings” says Dave Gibson, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission.


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