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Film New Zealand head announces resignation

For Immediate Release

24 January 2003

Film New Zealand head announces resignation after five years of faithful service

Jane Gilbert, Executive Manager of Film New Zealand, announced her resignation today. After more than five years of developing Film New Zealand into the stand-alone entity it is today, Jane wants to now spend time out pursuing her own goals, which includes a significant period of travel.

“Jane has seen Film New Zealand through a change of ownership from an “off shoot’ of the Screen Producers and Directors Association to the independent entity it is today,” says Film New Zealand’s Board Chairperson, Ms Sue Thompson. “Very often that has meant working tirelessly in an organisation that faced uncertainty of long term funding, whilst constantly building an international profile for New Zealand as film location of choice”.

During Jane’s reign, FNZ has attended over 15 international film events representing New Zealand locations and talent and, here in New Zealand, has been instrumental in negotiating beneficial policy changes including a streamlined and consistent tax policy regarding international productions as well as developing and implementing a “Best endeavors’ partnership with the Department of Conservation. Late last year FNZ also hosted the launch of the NZ Local Government Filming Protocol, the culmination of a long-term collaboration with Industry New Zealand and Local Government New Zealand.

Film New Zealand has been the recipient of 12 international marketing awards including two awards to Jane for The Lord of the Rings: New Zealand home of Middle Earth map. Its website has also received multiple international marketing awards from the international body of Film Commissioners, the AFCI.

As an independent entity, Film New Zealand is just over 18 months old and is funded by Investment New Zealand, The Ministry of Economic Development (through Industry New Zealand), the New Zealand Film Commission and industry sponsorship. “The fact that we have achieved so much in that time frame - with minimal resources - is a testimony to Jane and her team,” says Ms Thompson. “It means that Film New Zealand is in great shape going forward, and both myself and the Board can’t thank Jane enough for her tenacity and focus.

“Obviously we are very sad to see Jane depart but wholeheartedly support her desire to focus on achieving her personal goals. We have a highly qualified board and a huge depth of experience in our wider advisory group membership so will be working together to ensure the upcoming transition period is as smooth as possible. To this end we will be making an announcement on staffing arrangements in the very near future.”


Background Information

The members of Film New Zealand’s board are:

- Sue Thompson, CEO of The Film Unit (Chair)

- Chris Webb, Film consultant, Auckland

- Peter Parnham, managing director of Panavision New Zealand

- Paul Voigt Investment Manager - Film Investment New Zealand,

- Geoff Dixon, Founder Silverscreen Productions and Oktobor

- Nigel Hutchinson, Independent Producer, and

- Anne Verbokert, CEO of EDANZ

Additional Advisory Board members are:

- Ruth Harley, CEO New Zealand Film Commission

- Michael Stedman, Managing Director of Natural History Limited

and government partners, represented by:

- Tim Thorpe, Ministry of Economic Development, and

- Rob Arlidge, Industry New Zealand.


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