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Tizard welcomes fifth member to Film Fund Trust

17 August 2000

Tizard welcomes fifth member to Film Production Fund Trust - Judith Tizard

Wendy Palmer's recent appointment as the fifth Trustee of the New Zealand Film Production Fund has been welcomed as a significant coup for the Trust, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Judith Tizard said today.

The establishment of the Film Production Fund was announced as part of the government's arts 'recovery package' in May. The government has contributed $22 million to the Film Production Fund, an independent charitable trust set up to boost the development of the New Zealand film industry. The Trust will work closely with the New Zealand Film Commission to attract more investment into commercial films.

"The Film Production Fund will be able to attract further funding from other sources - including off-shore capital - and will be used to support films produced on a larger scale than those generally assisted by the Film Commission. Wendy Palmer's knowledge of films, the international film industry, and those who work in it, will be hugely valuable" Judith Tizard said.

Ms Palmer, a London-based New Zealander with a major reputation in the international film industry, joins Trust Chair David Gascoigne (independent) and Trustees Ruth Harley (NZ Film Commission), Chris Prowse (independent) and Alan Sorrell (NZ Film Commission).

The search for a fifth Trustee proved unexpectedly difficult for the initial Trust members. Of the over 50 names considered, many film-makers were ruled out because of a potential conflict of interest, while others lacked the extra time needed to devote to the Trust. Finding that Wendy was available and persuading her to join them, the other Trustees are really excited about working with her, said David Gascoigne.

Ms Palmer is currently the Chief Executive of United Artists Films, MGM's European-based production and distribution company. A University of Canterbury business graduate in marketing and finance, she has an extensive background in international film investment and representation. Her 15 years' experience includes the representation of over 200 films such as Jane Campion's The Piano, Muriel's Wedding, David Lynch's Wild at Heart and Lost Highway, Mike Leigh's Career Girls, and The Life of Brian.

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