Peter Jackson to head Film Commission review

  • 18/06/2009

Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson is to head a review of the Film Commission - a body he once accused of making poor funding decisions.

Jackson had agreed to lead a ministerial review of the commission to ensure it served the needs of the local industry and community, Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said.

Jackson would be assisted by David Court, head of screen business at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

They would examine the commission's legislation and the constitution, function, powers and financial provisions it provided.

National promised the review before the election.

"The act was passed over 30 years ago, and during that time the face of the local film industry has changed dramatically," Mr Finlayson said.

Jackson said the commission was: "a vital and indispensable component of our film industry".

"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."

In the past Jackson criticised the commission.

He once alleged it considered firing him from Meet the Feebles, and in 1997 he wrote a critique of the body slamming what he thought was inconsistent decision-making by inexperienced board members.

Just last year John Barnett, the head of South Pacific Pictures, accused the commission of treating the local industry 'like mushrooms, keeping them in the dark and feeding them on bullshit'.

Mr Barnett wrote in the screen magazine Onfilm that some of the commission's development schemes were flawed, its funding choices poor and it was unaccountable for its decisions.

Mr Finlayson said the film industry had 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," he said.

"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."

Jackson as the country's most successful director and producer of New Zealand film was uniquely qualified to lead the review, he said.

"Film in New Zealand is a creative sector, but also an industry," he said.

"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."

NZPA

source: newshub archive