Kevin Jennings Resigns as Executive Manager at Film Otago
Kevin Jennings Resigns as Executive Manager at Film Otago Southland
Queenstown, New Zealand.
The Chair of Film Otago Southland (FOS), Michael Hesp, announced today that Kevin Jennings, ‘KJ’, has resigned as Executive Manager effective 31 December 2019.
“KJ has given outstanding service to the film industry over an extended period of time, initially in Queenstown Lakes and latterly across the whole Otago Southland region. His involvement with the Association of Film Commissions International (AFCI) has raised the international profile of the region and New Zealand as a desirable film destination. In addition, his work in obtaining access to sensitive government land has been world leading,” Michael said.
KJ said that after 13 years in the role he felt this was a perfect time to move on. He leaves as Film Otago Southland receives the top global award for "Outstanding Film Commission" and as Amazon announces they will base their new Lord of the Rings Series in New Zealand.
KJ says the importance of access to locations has been a large part of the job. “It’s crucial – our locations are the key reason we have an industry in this part of the world. If we can’t access them, our product doesn’t exist.” He is now recognised as an international expert regarding access to locations on government land.
KJ is the only certified film commissioner (CFC) in Australasia. He has also been Chairman of the AFCI for the past 4 years, managing its restructure and relocation to Los Angeles. The AFCI is a global organisation and represents 300 film offices around the world.
As to the future of the industry, KJ says that streaming services have triggered extraordinary change while presenting new opportunities. He is delighted to see the local industry recently putting their hand up to take a role in promoting themselves. “We are unique in that we are in a remote location with an incredible crew who are locally based. The future of the industry is full of possibilities,” he said.
Mayor of Queenstown Lakes District Council, Jim Boult, said, “Film production is a major contributor to our local economy and we have been incredibly fortunate to have someone of KJ’s calibre to pave the way for the industry.”
Film Otago Southland is a Regional Film Office (RFO) - a.k.a "film commission" - providing information, facilitation and support for screen productions and the screen industry in the Otago and Southland region. The region covers the districts of Queenstown-Lakes, Southland, Central Otago, Waitaki, Dunedin and Clutha.