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NZ Film Commission Quits Sales Business

HONG KONG – The New Zealand Film Commission is to end its role as sales agent with effect from the end of the month.

The NZFC — which is New Zealand’s primary film funding body, not a location attraction outfit as its name might suggest – will no longer represent the shorts or feature films it finances.

Instead films will be guided to find their own sales agents. The transition will be guided by an international sales agent, appointed with effect from April 1.

The shake-up is part of the house cleaning process driven by recently Dave Gibson, a veteran producer installed as chief executive at the beginning of the year.

“For those films for which we are currently the sales agent, we will either look to place the more recent or high-profile titles (either individually or as a package) with other sales agents or, in the case of older titles, these will become part of a new library catalog and remain under our care. We are currently in the process of contracting a consultant with international sales agency experience to manage this repositioning,” the NZFC said in a statement.

Gibson is streamlining the organization into three units: development and production, headed by Lisa Chatfield; talent development, headed by Chris Payne; and marketing, headed by Jasmin McSweeney.

Over 40 years, the NZFC has produced, co-financed and represented some 129 films including Jane Campion’s “An Angel At My Table,” “Once Were Warriors” (pictured) and “The World’s Fastest Indian.”

“Our aim is to work with filmmakers to achieve the best possible outcomes for their film or films as an investor, a cultural agency and as a champion of New Zealand films,” NZFC said.

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