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New Chair for NZ Film Commission

Hon Judith Tizard Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister

Media release 6 July 2006

New Chair for NZ Film Commission

A new Chair and four new appointments to the New Zealand Film Commission were announced today by Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard. The new Chair is David Cullwick of Wellington who brings skills in corporate and business strategy, marketing and innovation, and governance. He has worked as an independent advisor to national and international businesses, and was inaugural Professor of Marketing at Victoria University of Wellington.

New member Vanessa Alexander (Auckland) has worked in film-making, television drama and theatre, and has won awards for her work. She is an honorary Board member of Women In Film and Television and Chair of the New Zealand Writers' Foundation.

A second new member, Andrew Cornwell (Auckland) is General Manager of Sony Pictures (NZ) Ltd. He is past chair of the Film and Video Labelling Body (carrying out certain film rating functions under the Films, Videos and Publications Act 1993), and was President of the Motion Picture Distributors Association and the Video Association of New Zealand (working with government on copyright and censorship issues and industry publicity matters).

Wendy Palmer (Blenheim), the third new member, is a former CEO of United Artists Films, a company established by MGM as its European production and independent distribution base. During 15 years in film investments sales, Wendy represented over 200 films. She was appointed a trustee of the NZ Film Fund Production Trust in 2000 and a board member of the NZ Screen Council in 2003.

Shane Simpson (Sydney), the fourth new member, works as a lawyer specialising in intellectual property, arts, entertainment, media, museums, and new technologies law. His recent Australia-based governance appointments include chairmanship of the New South Wales Film and Television Office, and membership of the National Association of the Visual Arts Board, and the Copyright Agency Board.

Bill Birnie has been re-appointed to the Board for a further two-year term until 30 June 2008. A member of the NZFC since 2000, his extensive business expertise has been useful in assessing and developing the commercial aspects of NZFC activities, and its monitoring of the New Zealand Film Production Fund Trust. Bill has considerable governance experience on financial and sports boards.

Judith Tizard expressed her confidence in all the appointed members.

"I am delighted that these people have agreed to serve on the commission. They bring an excellent knowledge and experience in the film industry and governance skills to the Commission and I am confident it will be well served by their appointments".

The Minister also paid tribute to retiring members, Barrie Everard as Chair, Helene Wong, James Wallace and Bob Harvey.

"On behalf of the government I would like to thank them for their service. Their commitment and contributions are greatly appreciated," she said.

ENDS


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