Te Puna Ataata The New Zealand Film Heritage Trust Launches

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Monday, November 20, 2017

The New Zealand Production Fund Trust is pleased to announce that the Trust has been repurposed to become Te Puna Ataata, the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust.

Filmmakers can appoint the charitable trust to act as guardian of their films, ensuring they remain accessible to audiences into the future.  The Trust can be granted ownership of a film’s rights, or appointed to manage them within pre-determined parameters.

The Trust has been modified in response to some industry members’ struggle to find the right people to speak for or make decisions on behalf of an increasing number of New Zealand films.  Many of our nation’s cinema pioneers have passed away or moved overseas.  Film rights have become diluted through inheritance, lost paper trails or the closure of production companies.  The Trust will clarify rights-holding of the films brought into its care, and preserve their legacy for future generations.

The Trust will ensure film materials are preserved, and where possible, transfer films to digital formats to allow them to continue being seen. To do this, the Trust will work cooperatively with Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision as a custodian of film materials, and with the Film Commission for the handling of sales and distribution and the collection and distribution of income.

The Film Heritage Trust has evolved from the New Zealand Film Production Fund Trust (known as the Film Fund) by broadening its operations to take on the role of caring for additional films to the ones funded by the Film Fund.

The Trust is managed by a board of five trustees made up of two film industry members, two independent trustees and a representative from the New Zealand Film Commission. The Film Fund’s Chair, Sir David Gascoigne, will remain as an independent trustee for the Film Heritage Trust, as will another existing trustee, Chris Prowse.  John Barnett and Whetu Fala have been appointed as the inaugural industry representatives, and in her Head of Business Affairs role, Chloe McLoughlin will represent the Film Commission.

Te Puna Ataata, the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust is being officially launched at an event at Wellington’s Government House this evening.

Films being place in the Trust include Utu, Once Were Warriors, Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tail and The Māori Merchant of Venice as well as John O’Shea’s Pacific Films collection and Gaylene Preston’s collection. Filmmakers and representatives for these films will attend the launch.