Veteran creative industry administrator Annabelle Sheehan is set to take over as CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission, replacing the departing Dave Gibson. Sheehan will take up the role in January.

The NZFC, despite its name that suggests a location attraction role, is the primary state-backed organization with oversight of the New Zealand film industry. It has responsibility for setting policy, administration of the country’s generous Screen Production Grant, as well as direct film investment and marketing. The NZFC and Film New Zealand merged in August 2015.

Sheehan is currently CEO of the South Australia Film Commission, a position she has held since 2015, having headed investment programs and funding initiatives in West Australia’s Screenwest. From 2004-2013, she worked at RGM Artist Group, representing high-profile Australian actors, directors, writers and radio and TV presenters.  Before that, Sheehan headed up the film and television division of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). She also has supervising ADR/sound editor credits including “Mad Max Beyond  Thunderdome,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Dead Calm” and “The Piano.”

NZFC said that it was “greatly impressed by [Sheehan’s] vision for the NZFC and her passion for film education, talent development and indigenous storytelling.” At the SAFC, Sheehan introduced an Aboriginal Screen Strategy with the aim of supporting South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers.

Gibson joined the NZFC in January 2014 and announced his upcoming departure in June this year.