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Our Board

Te Poari
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The New Zealand Film Commission is governed by an eight-member board appointed by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Members represent the film industry and the wider business and arts community. The Board meets every two months to set policy and budgets, monitor progress and consider applications for feature film financing.

  • Alastair Carruthers


    Alastair Carruthers is a company director and the co-founder of Homeland (a restaurant and cooking school in Auckland).  He is Chair of the TVNZ Board, a board member of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Cornwall Park Trust, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum, Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council, and the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board. He is has been Chair of the Allpress Espresso group, Co-Chair of the Te Papa Foundation, Chair of Creative NZ and the Arts Board, and a member of supervision boards for the Transport and Statistics Ministries. He has also participated on a Ministerial policy task force concerning philanthropy and taxation. 

    Alastair is a former council member and interim CEO of Unitec. He was Commissioner of the official NZ exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale of Art, and has over 20 years’ prior experience as the CEO of two leading NZ corporate and commercial law firms.

    He has been an executive producer of two feature films, and was awarded a CNZM for Services to Arts governance in 2014.

  • Paula Jalfon

    Deputy Chair

    Iwi: Ngāi Tahu
    Paula Jalfon has worked in the film industry for 24 years both in New Zealand and the UK.  She has extensive experience as a producer and executive producer in international development, production, financing, sales, festivals and distribution on independent and studio films.  Credits include In the Loop, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen among others.

    Her roles have included Senior Vice President, Production & Executive Producer for London-based Shine Pictures Ltd and Executive Producer and Commercial Manager for BBC Films. Paula worked at the British Film Institute for ten years, producing leading British filmmakers before setting up her own production company with a first look deal from The Independent Film Channel (USA). 

    Currently based in Queenstown, she is a Trustee of Film Otago Southland.

  • Pania Gray

    Of Ngā Puhi descent, Pania owner-operates Kororā Consulting, a Wellington based management, governance and business advisory company. She holds a number of governance positions alongside her role on the New Zealand Film Commission board. Pania is the Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and is an independent on the board of Education Services Limited and the Te Mātāwai and Ministry of Health Audit and Risk Committees. 

  • Ant Timpson

    Cinema obsessed from an early age, Ant left a law degree in the mid-80s to pursue a life in all facets of film – from production, exhibition, distribution through to marketing. In the early 90s he created the distribution company 2Brothers to handle specialist product and was manager of seminal New Zealand arthouse Charley Gray’s. He was a Board Member on the Moving Image Centre and created New Zealand’s first short film series Short Fuse. He founded the Incredibly Strange Film festival and still programmes the New Zealand International Film Festival. In 2003 he created New Zealand's largest film competition 48HOURS with Sir Peter Jackson as mentor. He also managed three devolved film funds for the NZFC – Headstrong, Make My Movie & 48+

    As a producer he conceived and created the US series The ABCs of Death as well as producing a slew of successful international features, including the multi-award winning thriller Housebound, the Canadian/ New Zealand cult-hit Turbo-Kid and the BIFA award-winning comedy, The Greasy Strangler.  He was the inaugural winner of ‘The New Zealand Art Entrepreneur of the Year' and recently directed his debut feature Come to Daddy with Elijah Wood.  He’s a lifelong collector of 35mm film prints and houses one of the largest private collections in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Sandra Kailahi

    Sandra Kailahi is a film producer, writer, author and playwright and spent 26 years working as a journalist in mainstream and Pacific media with such programmes at Tagata Pasifika, Fair Go, TVNZ 7 and as a news producer for Te Karere and One News.  Film credits include, The Messiah and the new documentary, For My Father’s Kingdom (set for release in 2019).

    She is currently the Strategic Communications Manager at Alliance Community Initiatives Trust, a charitable trust that focuses on revolutionizing the way social change happens – one person, one family, and one community at a time in South Auckland.

    Sandra is the current Chair of the Pacific Advisory Group at the Auckland Museum, a co-opted member of the Auckland Museum Trust Board, a former Trustee of the National Pacific Radio Trust and a trustee of the Pacific Islands Film & Television board (PIFT).

    Sandra is passionate about Pacific storytelling and is of Tongan and Kiwi ancestry. 

  • David Wright

    David has spent the past 25 years working to support storytellers and technologists within the New Zealand screen industry. A member of both the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants he has worked in senior management roles within the New Zealand television, feature film and digital visual effects sectors and enjoys nothing more than seeing New Zealand screen content succeed on the global stage. Formerly the Chief Operating Officer for Weta Digital, David completed 12 years with the Weta group in 2020 where he has managed significant growth in international screen production opportunities. David lives in Wellington and is also a Digital Media Trust board member.

  • Jane Meares

    Jane is a commercial barrister, based in Wellington, and has a wide range of public and commercial experience. In addition to her legal practice, she has a number of governance roles, and is currently the Chief Commissioner of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the Deputy Chair of the Electoral Commission, Chair of Financial Services Complaints Limited (a financial ombudsman service), Chair of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation and a member of the Risk and Assurance Committee of LINZ.

  • Ngila Dickson

    Ngila is a Costume Designer who has worked extensively on feature films both in New Zealand and internationally. She has collaborated with some of the most successful filmmakers and talent in the world.  Ngila received several BAFTA nominations for her work on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of The Rings trilogy and in 2004 received an Academy Award for the final instalment The Return of the King as well as a nomination that year for The Last Samurai.

    Ngila was awarded an Officer of the Order of New Zealand (ONZM) for services to design and the film industry in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours. In 2008 she received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award.  She is a current member of BAFTA, AMPAS and WIFT.

    Before entering the film industry, Ngila worked as a magazine editor, stylist and fashion designer.

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 18 January 2023