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Film New Zealand announces new trustees

11th June 2004

Film New Zealand announces new trustees

Film New Zealand has ended a year of restructuring with the announcement of 8 (eight) appointments to its new Board of Trustees.

During the restructuring the board was reconstituted as a trust. The ten available places for Trustees are representative of New Zealand Film Industry organisations and interested government agencies.

Four places are allocated to industry representatives. Regional Film Offices, Investment New Zealand and the administrator of the large Budget Expenditure Grant Scheme, the New Zealand Film Commission, are each represented by one Trustee. A further three seats may be allocated to ensure the board has a suitable range of business and marketing skills. The new trustees are:

Peter Avery, Film Officer, FilmVenture Taranaki Ruth Harley, C.E.O. NZ Film Commission Paul Voigt, Investment Manager - Screen Production, Investment New Zealand Murray Francis, Line Producer (Film Construction) Chloe Smith, Line Producer Sue Thompson, C.E.O. The Film Unit and Park Road Post Don Reynolds, Producer (Silverscreen Films) Dave Madigan, Production Sound Mixer and ex-President of the NZ Film & Video Technician's Guild.

Trustees will take up their positions on the 1st of July.

Future changes to Trustees will be made on a staggered basis after two year’s service on the board according to the Terms of the Trust Deed.

Film New Zealand is New Zealand's national film locations office providing information, introductions and support to filmmakers both internationally and locally. Major funding for the organisation was secured last December and is in place until June 30 2005.

Trustees Biographies:

Peter Avery

Peter has been involved in the creative industries since graduating with a Diploma in Visual Communication in 1973.

He was an Advertising Creative Director until 1980 when he joined the film industry, initially in Australia as an Art Director, and then in 1983 as a film director specialising in TV Commercials.

Peter has worked throughout the world and has received numerous international awards including both the New York and London Art Director’s hall of fame.

In 2001 he joined Venture Taranaki to set up Film Venture Taranaki, the regional film office. That initiative helped persuade Warner Bros to base its Last Samurai shoot in Taranaki. He is the regional film office representative on Film New Zealand’s Board.
Paul Voigt

Paul has worked in international business and marketing for over 20 years. He has worked for Investment New Zealand, Industry New Zealand and the New Zealand Trade Development Board and its predecessor organisations, both in New Zealand and overseas. For six years Paul was Consul General and Trade Commissioner in Vancouver, Canada. He has also been a private consultant and taught international marketing at university. Currently he is with New Zealand’s Investment Promotion Agency, Investment New Zealand, as Investment Manager – Screen Production. This position has given Paul a lead role in Government promotion of New Zealand as a film location. In addition, he has co-ordinated New Zealand’s efforts in leveraging the benefits of The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the past four years. Paul is the Investment New Zealand representative on Film New Zealand’s Board.

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley has been Chief Executive of the New Zealand Film Commission since 1997.

During that time the Commission has financed more than 40 features.

Ruth Harley’s responsibilities at the Commission involve her directly with the growth of the New Zealand film industry. She has reshaped the Commission’s vision, restructured the organisation, increased the number of films in which the Commission invests, and also led moves to establish the New Zealand Film Production Fund which provides new opportunities for experienced New Zealand filmmakers. Ruth Harley represents the Large Budget Expenditure Grant Scheme.

Murray Francis

Murray Francis set up the first KIWI stand at the Locations Expo to promote New Zealand in the 1990s. He has been a strong advocate of New Zealand as location and New Zealanders as crew ever since.

He comes from a Quantity Surveying background and has been involved with the film industry for most of his working life.

He has line produced numerous feature films and has produced overseas television commercials.

Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith brings 20 years of industry production experience to her appointment. Her credits span 8 New Zealand feature films, including production management of Jane Campion’s award winning film, The Piano, and Alison McLean’s Crush.

She spent 8 years as New Zealand producer of the universally screened and popular television series Xena - Warrior Princess and Hercules, The Legendary Journeys: was co-producer of Forever, a one hour dance work by choreographer Douglas Wright filmed for the prestigious Work Of Art series; producer of Michael Bennett’s internationally screened short film, Cow; and most recently was line producer for the Sam Raimi/Rob Tapert/Senator International feature, Boogeyman.

These credits total over 300 hours of drama production. Chloe is a New Zealand citizen, originally from England and Zimbabwe.

Sue Thompson

Sue Thompson’s career in the New Zealand and Australian film industry began with Valhalla Cinemas, Australia where she began as manager for programmes and promotion for the cinema chain then moved up to managing Valhalla Distribution.

Crossing the Tasman to work in international sales, film financing and production Sue joined Avalon Studios as Studio Executive and Film Investment Manager.

In 1995 she was made General Manager of The Film Unit which was then under the ownership of Television New Zealand. Her progression of the laboratory’s work achieved such a standard it was the first in the world to receive total quality management accreditation from Kodak called Imagecare.

In 1999 Peter Jackson purchased The Film Unit from TVNZ and Sue was made CEO.

Since that time she has overseen substantial upgrading of the facilities which have made The Film Unit the most comprehensive post production facility in the Southern hemisphere.

In 2001 Sue was appointed Chair of Film New Zealand after being involved as either director or advisory support for the organisation over the last five years.

Don Reynolds

Don joined the New Zealand National Film Unit in 1969 as a sound trainee. He had the unique opportunity to learn all aspects of the craft of filmmaking. In 1974 he established Associated Sounds Ltd which became the largest independent post production facility in New Zealand and he produced 12 films. These films won numerous awards in New Zealand and abroad and quickly established Don as a significant producer in the New Zealand Industry.

In 1988 he was appointed Chief Executive of South Pacific Pictures, the newly created TVNZ drama subsidiary. Under Don, South Pacific Pictures produced in excess of 200 hours of drama. Don was responsible for creating and setting up the first locally produced daily soap, SHORTLAND STREET, which is now in its 11th year of production.

He moved to TVNZ as Director of Production and Co-production where he was responsible for all locally produced productions. Don moved to London with Grundy Worldwide as their Senior Vice President of Drama before taking up a role with Atlantis Films Ltd (now Alliance Atlantis) as their London based President of International Co-production.

Don returned to Australia to take up the newly created role of Head of Programme Production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation based in Sydney. He headed up the Programme Production Portfolio and was responsible for all ABC production in Television, Radio and Multi Media. He sat on the ABC Executive, reporting to the Managing Director.

In order to get back closer to production Don created Film.Com Pty Ltd, an independent production company based in Sydney, to produce films and television drama in both New Zealand and Australia. In 2002 Don partnered with Geoff Dixon, a colleague since 1975, and formed Silverscreen Films Ltd.

David Madigan

David Madigan has been a sound recordist in the film and television industry since 1977 beginning with the ABC in Australia and then Television New Zealand.

Since 1985 he has worked for himself and has worked on numerous feature films and television drama series as well as more than 100 television commercials.

He has been a board member of the New Zealand Film and Video technicians Guild since 1994 and was its President from 1998 – 2001.


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