Queensland film funder taps topper

Barron to lead Pacific Film and TV Commission

SYDNEY — Maureen Barron, former general manager of Southern Star, has been tapped to lead Queensland’s top screen funder, the Pacific Film and Television Commission.

Barron starts July 4 with a mandate to grow local production rather than just lure foreign shoots to the state.

She replaces founding chief exec Robin James, who was ousted in February after clashing with the board.

Barron was most recently chief commissioner of federal marketing org the Australian Film Commission before it was folded into Screen Australia.

The PFTC disburses A$9.9 million ($8 million) annually, pursuing foreign shoots like Walden’s “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which is in pre-production; fostering co-productions; and seeking to grow the local industry.

Acting chairman Jim Soorley and his board want the commission to excel at fostering local production in a bid to overturn Queensland’s reputation as a state with an impoverished cultural sector.

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