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Peter Jackson to head Film Commission review: Only in New Zealand

It could only happen here. It's extraordinary, wonderful news. Instead of an earnest contract worker with a tired agenda—always a possibility—we get a distinguished local filmmaker who has criticised the Film Commission AND no longer needs it to fund his films. Here's the press release. I'll write about the Terms of Reference as soon as I have my head around them. At first glance, there's nothing specific about gender, but various places where it can be considered.
Oscar award winning director and producer Peter Jackson will lead a ministerial review of the New Zealand Film Commission to ensure it is best able to serve the needs of the local industry and community, Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson announced today.

“National promised a review of the New Zealand Film Commission during last year’s election campaign,” Mr Finlayson said. “The act was passed over 30 years ago, and during that time the face of the local film industry has changed dramatically.”

“The film industry has been one of New Zealand’s highest profile successes of the last 15 years. This review will ensure it is receiving the support needed to continue that growth.”

“The Commission plays a part in every stage of the industry from funding start-up productions to helping market and distribute the end product. It’s vital to establish how the Commission has been performing in each of these mandated areas, and whether it has been providing the best value to industry.”

“Peter Jackson is the most successful director and producer in New Zealand film, and is uniquely qualified to lead this review. Film in New Zealand is a creative sector, but also an industry. He has achieved success both critically and commercially, and has done so at all levels of production represented in the local industry from DIY low-budget movies to record-setting international blockbusters.”

David Court, Head of Screen Business at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, will work with Peter Jackson to examine the Commission’s legislation and the constitution, function, powers and financial provisions it provides.

“The NZ Film Commission is a vital and indispensable component of our film industry,” Mr Jackson said. “I'm looking forward to making positive and constructive suggestions to ensure that it remains effective in what is a rapidly changing international movie climate. David and I intend to consult with many local filmmakers, so the review reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writers, producers and directors the Film Commission was created to support.”

The review will look at the challenges facing the Commission in a rapidly changing domestic and international film industry context. Key issues are how the Commission can most effectively help industry meet New Zealand cultural content objectives and reach a domestic and international audience. It will consider whether the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978 needs to be updated to ensure that the Commission is responsive to the challenges that the organisation and the industry faces in the current environment.

When the email came I was out, watching Russell Crowe in State of Play, enjoying the subtleties of his performance and the tight script. Needed a break as I slog through the last hard bits of my thesis draft. And it was that, The Proposal, or The Merchant of Venice. Promised a friend I'd do The Merchant of Venice, but am just too knackered for anything that needs any brain power.

And on the way home dropped by the Paramount to see if they have an NZ Film Festival catalogue. Yes, there were some there, in big brown paper bags with what seemed to be other things, like boxes of cornflakes. And it looked like they were preparing a party. I asked for a catalogue, didn't need cornflakes, just a catalogue. "Are you with the Film Festival?" the woman asked. "No," I said. "Come back in the morning," she said. I'm imagining that down there right now the Minister for Culture and Heritage is being congratulated, in person or in absentia. As he should be. And Peter Jackson. WOW.

Comments

  1. Great.. It's an essential news for all the movie makers who are making the Movies, Thanks for giving out.

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