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Film Otago Southland wins ‘Outstanding Film Commission’

Film Otago Southland wins ‘Outstanding Film Commission’ at prestigious global awards ceremony.

Queenstown-based Film Otago Southland (FOS) has been recognised at the 6th annual Locations Managers Guild International (LMGI) Awards receiving the ‘Outstanding Film Commission’ award. The award, presented at the ceremony on Santa Monica, California, on 21 September, highlighted that Otago and Southland are both firmly on the radar in Hollywood as a filming destination.

FOS Executive Manager Kevin ‘KJ’ Jennings said there was significant brand value of being nominated and ultimately winning the award amongst a cohort of senior locations scouts and producers who greatly influence where in the world projects go to shoot. “It was a target rich environment”.

“While the award was connected with work we did on Mission Impossible 6: Fallout, it was the result of a sustained effort,” said KJ.

“New Zealand has fantastic locations but what’s crucial is that we’ve spent years working to create access to film at those locations - in our world if you can’t access a location then it doesn’t exist. We are trying to create a culture of New Zealand being the most film friendly country in the world. It’s an ongoing process but we’ll keep fighting the good fight.”

In his acceptance speech KJ acknowledged former Location Scout and previous Chairman of FOS - Dave Comer as a mentor who inspired him to challenge the status quo and to fight for access for the film industry. KJ recounted Mr Comer’s “take the gloves off” encouragement when previously faced with potentially losing access to a National Park.

Asked about the awards show KJ said, “It was a great night, and an important opportunity to connect with new and existing industry contacts, influencers and film commissioners. I also met a lot of producers we’d previously hosted who are still considering us for projects. Aside from that I think invited at least 100 people to come visit.”

Mike Fantasia, President, Location Managers Guild International, said that Kevin Jennings epitomizes what a film commissioner should be.

“KJ is a person who is available from the initial scouts and throughout the production, solving problems and providing information and contacts. Kevin’s work with the production team on MI:Fallout was exemplary and he richly deserved the honour bestowed upon him by the Location Managers Guild International at their sixth annual awards show, added Mr Fantasia.

The winner of the award was selected via vote from active and retired LMGI members.


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