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Council committed to ensuring film office’s success

Council committed to ensuring film office’s continued success

Changes to the Film Otago Southland Film Office and Board will not impact on the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC)’s continued support and the seamless delivery of service by the office.

With the recent resignation of Kevin Jennings (Executive Officer of Film Otago Southland), and the long signalled intention by Chairman Michael Hesp to step down from his role in 2020, the Council has decided it is timely to review how the industry is supported across the region.

For the Council this will line up with a standard review of funding.

“Very much in the form of the last review undertaken, this offers a chance to consider how the office supports the film industry in the future,” Meaghan Miller, QLDC General Manager Corporate Services said.

Mr Jennings, with the support of his board, has forged a strong film office that was recently internationally recognised. “It’s a strong foundation that offers the industry critical support.”

Since the last review Dunedin has grown into a strong film hub and an economic development team has been created at QLDC. These changes pose new opportunities and challenges and the review will consider how best to respond to these.

Michael Hesp, Chair of Film Otago Southland (FOS), says his board is committed to supporting Council in this review to help ensure a robust process occurs and that the best possible outcome for all stakeholders is achieved.

QLDC wishes to revisit options and models working well elsewhere, to review how film offices best support the industry while maintaining impartiality.

“I have assured the Board that there is no intention for QLDC to reduce its support for the industry. At this stage funding of the office is secure in the Council’s 10 Year Plan,” Ms Miller said.

Collectively, there is a strong commitment to ensuring the existing regional relationships that allow film makers to discover and access a wide variety of locations across Otago and Southland are maintained.

The scope of the Council’s funding review is yet to be completed. Consultation with the industry and other funders will start in the New Year and is expected to be completed by March.

ENDS|KUA MUTU.

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