Film industry applauds appointment

20:39, Nov 13 2012
Kevin "KJ" Jennings
Film Otago Southland executive manager Kevin "KJ" Jennings on Queenstown's waterfront soon after the announcement of his appointment to the Association of Film Commissioners International board of directors.

Film Otago Southland's executive manager has been appointed to the board of directors of the Association of Film Commissioners International, giving New Zealand sway in the influential organisation.

The association provides official professional and educational services for more than 300 national and regional film offices worldwide. Each office provides vital assistance for feature film, television and and commercial production companies to facilitate shoots in its particular area.

Queenstown-based Kevin "KJ" Jennings' appointment is being hailed as a step forward for the promotion of the New Zealand film industry to the global market.

"The association covers the globe and is staffed by people at the top of their game, and offers extended opportunities to strategise with regional film offices who are all looking to best serve their communities," he said.

"Each office is competitive about putting its best forward on a constant basis, but there is a huge opportunity for collaboration, especially given New Zealand has a reversal of seasons to the northern hemisphere. A shoot may ideally be scheduled to happen in Vancouver in summer but if it's winter there, New Zealand could be the perfect stand-in location."

The collaborative approach of on-set film making could also be used effectively in the first stages of production strategy and planning, Mr Jennings said.

"The association is at the cutting edge of worldwide film offices, and I see being on the board as a great opportunity to gauge what works well elsewhere and bring that knowledge back to the lower half of the South Island in particular, and New Zealand in general."

The current board of directors includes representation from the United States, Canada, England, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates, and is bolstered by an advisory board including studio heads, producers, international location scouts and the Motion Picture Association of America.

New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason applauded the appointment. "Having a New Zealander on board this association is a real coup for the New Zealand screen industry - particularly someone so capable of promoting what we do, and [who] is so passionate about the great work that is done here."


The Southland Times