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Our Staff

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The Film Commission has four business units. 

  • Development and Production
  • Talent Development
  • Marketing 
  • International (which houses Incentives Screen Attraction and Enquiries)

There are three support groups, Business Affairs, Finance and Resources. 


  • Annabelle Sheehan


    Annabelle's last role was as CEO of South Australia Film Commission (SAFC), where she introduced a suite of investment and grant programmes designed to develop filmmakers and attract production in the State while building ongoing capacity. She also committed to increase the presence of Aboriginal stories on screen and introduced a number of production initiatives to enable this, including an Aboriginal Screen Strategy with the aim of supporting South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers.

    Prior to SAFC, Sheehan managed investment programmes and funding initiatives for production, production attraction, producer development and company support at Screen West. From 2004 to 2013, Sheehan was CEO and Senior Agent at RGM Artist Group, which represented high profile Australian actors, directors, writers, and radio and TV presenters. Before this, Sheehan headed up the Film and Television division of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

    Sheehan has a background in post-production as a Supervising ADR/Sound Editor. Her credits include Mad Max – Beyond the Thunderdome (George Miller and George Ogilvie), Lorenzo’s Oil (George Miller), Dead Calm (Philip Noyce) and The Piano,(Jane Campion), receiving industry awards for the latter two.

  • Jenny Grant

    Assistant to the CEO

    Jen is responsible for looking after the CEO and assists with the NZFC Board.  She has several years' administration experience in Wellington's private and government sector. 

    When she is not wrangling the CE's diary or uploading board papers, Jen sings in a Wellington band.  She has performed in musical theatre productions for over 20 years and can be relied on to find a song for every occasion.

Development and Production

Want to make a feature film or documentary? Then our Development and Production team are the people to talk to. The team is headed by Leanne Saunders and made up of members Karin Williams, Chris Moll, Marc Ashton, Mechele Harron, Lucy Campagnolo and Adrianne Roberts.

Turning ideas into films

This team develops exciting ideas into great films. They will tell you what we can do to help your feature or documentary idea become a film, including script, shoot and post-production. Early Development Fund (EDF) and Advanced Development Fund (ADF) applications should be sent to Mechele and production investment applications should be sent to Marc. This unit’s focus is working with filmmakers to create the best possible films, so if you want general assistance with your career then you need to talk to our Talent Development team.

  • Leanne Saunders

    Head of Development and Production

    Leanne is responsible for overseeing the development of films from the early development stage through to the end of post-production. Her department focuses on supporting exciting ideas to become great films. 

    Leanne has over 15 years’ experience in film and television production. Her feature film credits include The Weight of Elephants, Born to Dance, The Devil’s Rock, Christmas and Desert. With Headstrong co-founder Ant Timpson, Leanne executive produced low budget features The Devil Dared Me To and A Song of Good.  More recently, through Piki Films, Leanne produced Hunt for the Wilderpeople with company partners Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi. 

  • Karin Williams

    Development Executive

    Karin descends from Cook Islands ‘akapapa on her father’s side. Her mother’s ancestors arrived in Aotearoa from Britain in the mid-1800s. This bicultural genealogy makes Karin a proud Kiwi who is passionate about the stories of her tūpuna on both sides. She began her career as a journalist on Rarotonga and went on to work in New Zealand and the USA as a writer, director and producer for broadcast, film and theatre. Her award-winning independent documentaries, short films and theatre productions have shown at festivals around the world. 

  • Chris Moll

    Investment Executive

    Chris is an award-winning producer and senior film executive. Formerly UK-based, he spent 15 years as an independent producer, firstly with Aardman Animations for whom he produced the Oscar and BAFTA-winning The Wrong Trousers, and subsequently with his own commercials and broadcast companies Hellzapoppin Pictures and Harvest Films. Since 2004, he’s focussed on developing, packaging and executive producing a wide range of live action features with partners such as BBC Films, BFI and Film4. Lady Macbeth, The Girl with All the Gifts, Of Time and the City and Nowhere Boy are among his many film credits. Chris has also enjoyed commissioning and leadership roles at several UK screen agencies including Head of Film at Creative England. A champion of emerging and regionally-based filmmakers, Chris was the driving force behind iFeatures, the UK’s most lauded low-budget feature film development and production lab.

  • Marc Ashton

    Production Executive

    Marc’s career in film began in the early 90s in multiplex management and distribution across the east coast of Australia at the height of Hoyts Corp’s expansion. This was followed by over two decades in domestic and international film and television production; starting on the studio floor in a variety of technical crew roles. He has had a successful freelance career as assistant director and/or co-producer at the highest level of production with many prominent filmmakers both in New Zealand and Australia, as well as short stints in the US and China.  His credits as 1st AD include Top of the Lake, Hope and Wire and Boy and his co-producer credits include The Lovely Bones and Terminus.

  • Mechele Harron

    Development Coordinator

    Mechele descends from Tainui/Taranaki whakapapa, with strong ties to Tūrangawaewae Marae and Parihaka Pa.  She started her career as a news journalist before heading into the world of television and working her way up to becoming a producer at Māori Television in Tamāki Makaurau, enabling her to produce many Māori language programmes including historical documentary series and tamariki programmes.  Mechele provides administration support for the Development and Production team and is the key point of contact for feature film development enquires.

  • Lucy Campagnolo

    Development and Production Assistant

    Lucy assists Head of Development, Leanne Saunders and the rest of the Development and Production team. Originally from Christchurch, Lucy studied Film Production at Unitec in Auckland where she worked for various production companies while also creating short films. Prior to joining the Film Commission Lucy was working in the Art Department on The Changeover and she was a part of the Props team on Mortal Engines.

  • Adrianne Roberts

    Devolved Development Co-ordinator

    Adrianne is responsible for facilitating the smooth running of the Devolved Development Programmes. Devolved Development initiatives include He Ara for Māori and Pasifika filmmakers, Seed and Seed Advanced with the New Zealand Writers’ Guild, and The A-Z of Producing and Boost for both emerging and more established film producers. Adrianne is a Theatre and Media Studies graduate from Victoria University, and has a background as an arts marketer and producer with her company ‘Show Pony’. She has produced and toured theatre and dance works by New Zealanders to various arts festivals in New Zealand and internationally including Australia, the UK and Europe, and South Korea.

Talent Development

Need help with your career? Want to make some connections here or overseas? Would you like to make a short film? Then contact our Talent Development team. It is led by Dale Corlett and comprises Jude McLaren and Paul Fagamalo with support from development co-ordinator Ange Senior.

Developing careers

Our focus is on finding, fostering, connecting and progressing exceptional New Zealand filmmaking talent. We help in the development of careers and making connections for you both here and overseas. We want to help local and expat producers, directors, writers and actors. The team is also responsible for our relationship with industry guilds and organisations, and for supporting short films, which are a valuable stepping stone to feature films. 

  • Dale Corlett

    Head of Talent Development

    Dale is responsible for leading the Talent Development department. He leads on Premiere Pathways, Fresh Shorts, Talent Development Grants, Interactive Development Fund and numerous other talent development initiatives. He is the primary contact with the New Zealand Screen Industry Guilds. He is available to speak with about career pathways and funding options. Before joining the Commission in 2015, Dale, a kiwi, had been living and working in the UK for 17 years, most recently as CEO/Creative Director of GMAC Film in Scotland. In this role since 2004, Dale was responsible for identifying high quality emerging talent and supporting them to progress from shorts to features and developing a career in the film industry. He was also proactive in the creation of innovative, diversity-led and gender focused talent development programmes in Scotland.

  • Jude McLaren

    Talent Pathways Manager

    Jude manages the funding process for the bi-annual Fresh Shorts rounds, including development labs. She supports filmmakers in their career development from the short to feature space. Jude is also available to speak with about career pathways and funding options. Jude has extensive production and development experience in the New Zealand screen industry. Commencing her career initially as Production Manager and then Development Executive at the Gibson Group, Jude has most recently been Digital Producer at Storybox, developing and producing online video. In 2013 Jude graduated from AUT with a Certificate in Career Development with a chosen focus on the creative sector.

  • Paul Fagamalo

    Talent Development Manager

    Paul manages the talent development grants and industry training initiatives, including internships and skills shortage training, and liaises with guilds and industry organisations. He is available to speak with about professional development opportunities for New Zealand filmmakers. Paul comes from a production and performing arts background in television, theatre and online. A graduate of both AUT and the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts in Auckland, he has also performed nationally and internationally and is particularly interested in helping to grow the Pacific Arts community. Recently he was involved in helping develop and produce online content for The Coconet, and helped produce up-and-coming dance company Fine Fatale. 

  • Ange Senior

    Talent Development Coordinator

    Ange coordinates and facilitates the smooth running of the Talent Development team, particularly around Fresh Shorts, Premiere Pathways and other talent development initiatives. She provides support to the Head of Talent Development, Dale Corlett; the Talent Pathways Manager, Jude McLaren; and the Talent Development Manager, Paul Fagamalo. Ange began her career in the Irish film and television industry as a script supervisor after graduating from the National Film School of Ireland. She has spent the last ten years working on a diverse range of film and television projects, from large scale tv shows to feature films and shorts.


Do you want to tell the world about your film? Our marketing team is run by Jasmin McSweeney and comprises of Kate Larkindale, Lesa MacLeod-Whiting, Marg Lawson, Nick Garrett and Tracey Brown. We are focussed on getting more people watching great New Zealand feature films, both here and overseas. 

What we do

Jasmin is the person to talk to about dealing with sales agents, distributors and major festivals. Kate focuses on publications and marketing collateral for films, and oversees our video-on-demand (VOD) platform. Lesa co-ordinates festival submissions and assists Jasmin in promoting New Zealand films. Marg Lawson is our Strategy and Insights Advisor and faciliates the development of strategy and policy for the Film Commission. Nick helps young and emerging filmmakers engage with the Film Commission, and Tracey looks after film materials and deliveries. For all media enquiries, please contact Jasmin McSweeney.

  • Jasmin McSweeney

    Head of Marketing

    Jasmin is responsible for the promotion and marketing of New Zealand films and the New Zealand Film Commission, in New Zealand and internationally. She consults with filmmakers, international sales agents and distributors on international film festival and market placement. Within New Zealand, she assists distributors and filmmakers to identify and engage with their film’s audience through test screenings, audience research and distribution grants. Since 2005, Jasmin has been involved with the marketing and promotion of most of the films the Film Commission has invested in including The World’s Fastest Indian, Boy, The Dark Horse, The Dead Lands, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Pork Pie and Chasing Great.

  • Kate Larkindale

    Marketing Executive

    Kate supports Jasmin in promoting New Zealand films locally. She has over 20 years experience in exhibtion and distribution, having managed cinemas in New Zealand and Australia.  She has worked on numerous film festivals, acted as distributor for many films and been a film reviewer in print and on TV. She is also the author of two young adult novels, An Unstill Life and Stumped.

  • Lesa MacLeod-Whiting

    Marketing and Festival Co-ordinator

    Lesa works with Jasmin to promote and market New Zealand films both internationally and abroad. She is a Modern Languages graduate from Victoria University of Wellington and is proficient in Italian and Spanish. She has lived in Italy, Spain and in the UK working in education. She also has over two years of cinema management experience.

  • Tracey Brown

    Film Materials Manager

    Tracey manages the delivery of all feature film materials and collateral. She works closely with filmmakers and post-production facilities to arrange material orders for fulfilling distribution agreements both nationally and internationally. Tracey has 16 years’ experience in post-production and has most recently been working as a Post-Production Producer at Park Road Post.  She has worked on a long list of films including Home By Christmas, West of Memphis, The Hobbit films, The Orator and The Adventures of TinTin.

  • Nick Garrett

    Community Manager

    Nick comes from a filmmaking background. He won the prestigious “Best Film” prize at the Orewa College Year 12 Media Studies awards; still his biggest achievement to date.

    After making heaps of short films, starting a company and branching out into composing music for theatre, films and advertising, Nick has settled in to helping New Zealand’s young and emerging filmmakers engage with the Film Commission. Having been on the opposite side as a young filmmaker, (applying for different types of funding, getting turned down etc.), Nick understands the shortfalls and is also committed to listening to filmmakers to address these issues from within the organisation. He sits within the Marketing team but also works closely with Development and Production and Talent Development.

  • Marg Lawson

    Strategy and Insights Advisor

    Marg develops and delivers research and evaluation insights to support the continued strategic development and success of the industry. She works with filmmakers, audiences, senior leadership team, and cross-sector agencies. She has a background in government and private sector qualitative and quantitative research. She loves talking about how research insights can help.

International Team

The International Team looks after Incentives, International Screen Attraction and International Relations. This team works with many organisations and individuals both here and overseas. Catherine Bates administers the Government’s New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG).  Chris Payne connects New Zealand and international talent and works with government agencies offshore on co-production treaties. Philippa Mossman is responsible for attracting international productions to New Zealand and connecting them with our local industry.

Support team

Supporting Catherine, Chris and Philippa are Chris Tyson, Mel Read, Jacqui Wood, Jemma Taylor, Raymond Suen and Pam McCabe.

  • Catherine Bates

    Head of Incentives

    Catherine manages the NZSPG, with a particular focus on the 5% Uplift, an additional grant that international productions which qualify for the 20% NZSPG and offer significant economic benefits to New Zealand may apply to receive. She is the New Zealand Film Commission's first point of contact for New Zealand government agencies in relation to the 5% Uplift and works closely with international productions and New Zealand government partners to deliver strong outcomes for all. Catherine began her career at Tourism New Zealand and whilst there was involved with the development of the New Zealand destination brand and global 100% Pure New Zealand campaign. Highlights of her career include development of the New Zealand Story and leadership of the NZ Inc Hobbit leverage programme, in particular the NZ Inc relationship with Wingnut Films and Warner Bros Los Angeles. 

  • Chris Payne

    Head of International Relations

    Chris facilitates introductions, relationships and opportunities for New Zealand filmmakers and international partners.  He is the New Zealand Film Commission’s first point of contact for overseas posts and the Film Commission’s sister agencies internationally.  Chris works with the Head of Incentives to secure effective talent development outcomes for New Zealand filmmakers on international productions seeking the 5% Uplift. Chris has worked in development and production in New Zealand and Japan for well over a decade.  In addition to feature film, Chris has worked across television, commercials and music videos, as well as in business development roles in the corporate sector.

  • Philippa Mossman

    Head of International Screen Attraction

    Philippa is the key conduit between overseas production customers and local industry specialists.  She oversees the provision of specialist screen services, including an international screen business enquiry service, and manages key relationships with New Zealand’s major international production customers. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the New Zealand production sector, most recently at state broadcaster Television New Zealand, where she held senior roles in production, channel management, programming and partnership.

  • Chris Tyson

    Incentives Executive

    An experienced line producer, Chris has over 20 years' experience in the New Zealand film industry and manages the application process for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG), including answering enquiries, receiving and reviewing applications and convening meetings to consider applications.

  • Mel Read

    Incentives Coordinator

    Mel works alongside Chris Tyson to provide administrative support during the application process for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG). Mel has previously worked in radio broadcasting and direct marketing, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film & Theatre from Victoria University of Wellington. She has also worked as an usher for the New Zealand International Film Festival since 2003.

  • Jemma Taylor

    International PR and Promotions Specialist

    Jemma is based in Auckland and oversees the delivery of the PR and promotional plan for international attractions, incentives and international relations. Her key responsibilities include the delivery of our international promotional campaigns and 5% uplift leverage activity, event management and the creation of international content for the New Zealand Film Commission's website and social media. Jemma previously worked as Film Specialist at Tourism New Zealand where she promoted New Zealand as a tourism destination through movies including The Hobbit Trilogy and Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, giving her a detailed understanding of film marketing. Prior to this Jemma worked as a reporter and producer at Television New Zealand.

  • Raymond Suen

    Asia Outreach Executive

    Raymond connects with storytellers and stories from New Zealand’s Asian communities, to raise awareness of the New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand screen sector, and avenues for project and career development.  Raymond works with industry to increase the number of Asian New Zealanders working across the sector, engaging with and leveraging creative, investment and audience opportunities with Asia. He has spent over a decade in the cinema industry, as a film programmer for Event Cinemas NZ, looking after Asian films, alternative content and festivals, project managing the HKNZBA Hong Kong Film Festival, coordinating the Japan Foundation JFFNZ and served as a committee member for the Korean Cinerama Trust KFFNZ.  Raymond is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.


  • Jacqui Wood

    Enquiries Manager

    Jacqui is the enquiries manager, providing responses to location, facilities and crew advice requests. She has several years of experience as a film commissioner in the South Island and has worked with leading New Zealand producers and directors as a production coordinator on feature films and television series. 

  • Pam McCabe

    Office Co-ordinator

    Pam supports the staff in the international area's enquiries and incentives teams and is likely to be the first person you meet when you engage with them.

Business Affairs

Chloe McLoughlin is our Head of Business Affairs. She works with Rochelle Cooney,  Larissa Barbour (currently on maternity leave) Conal Thompson, and Chanel Christie.

Chloe, Rochelle, Larissa and Conal are responsible for all contractual matters while Chanel manages the Te Ahi Kā programme.

  • Chloe McLoughlin

    Head of Business Affairs

    Chloe has responsibility for all contractual matters, including film closing and sales and distribution contracts.  Chloe was previously a Senior Associate at a commercial law firm, and has had a connection with the New Zealand Film Commission for more than 10 years.

  • Conal Thompson

    Business Affairs Executive

    Conal provides administrative and legal support to the Business Affairs team, as well as assisting in contractual matters. Conal graduated from the University of Auckland with a conjoint Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Film, Television and Media. He has experience working both behind and in front of the camera in numerous local productions.

  • Chanel Christie

    Te Ahi Kā Assistant

    Chanel provides legal support and commercial advice in relation to the New Zealand Film Commission’s back catalogue Te Ahi Kā films, for contractual, sales and distribution arrangements. Chanel graduated from the University of Otago, having also completed an exchange to Uppsala University, Sweden, and fluently speaks Portuguese, Spanish and French. 


Our Finance team is headed by Mladen Ivancic and includes Catherine RobinsonBonnie Tonkin, Dominique Fromont and Carol Wang. They are responsible for managing the New Zealand Film Commission's financial and information management systems.

What we do

Mladen is responsible for the administration of co-production applications and works alongside Government agencies on the negotiation of new co-production agreements. Dominique manages royalty reports and film income from domestic and international distributors, sales agents and collection agencies. Catherine and Bonnie manage the distribution of film income to investors and filmmakers once it has been collected by us.

  • Mladen Ivancic

    Chief Financial Officer

    Mladen has overall responsibility for our financial and marketing information systems. In addition, he monitors aspects of feature film financing and budgets, manages co-production approval and film certification and has input into policy development and our interface with Government.

  • Dominique Fromont

    Film Income Manager

    Dominique is responsible for royalties collection, including monitoring reports and income from international collection agencies.  Prior to coming to the New Zealand Film Commission, Dominique worked at various arts and film organisations including Three Foot Six Ltd, Film New Zealand, Wingnut Films and the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

  • Bonnie Tonkin


    Bonnie manages all our accounting and financial information management. She also manages the New Zealand Film Commission's Film Income account and distributes collected film income to investors and filmmakers. Bonnie has several years of accounts experience, including her last role at the Department of Conservation.

  • Carol Wang

    Assistant Accountant

    Carol works with Bonnie on the management of financial information for the organisation, and to provide general assistance to Film Commission staff with financial administration.


  • Hayley Hewer

    Front of House Coordinator

    Hayley is likely to be the first person you meet at the New Zealand Film Commission whether you call us up or visit in person. Wellington has recently gained Hayley as a new resident after her return from ten years across the ditch where she worked as a talent agent, shaping the careers of Australia’s best and brightest talents in theatre, film and television. Hayley is an exhibiting artist - when she’s not manning the front desk she can be found in her studio, painting, drawing and creating from whatever draws inspiration.

  • Simon Brash

    Digital Advisor & Production Researcher

    Simon is responsible for overseeing new digital initiatives, including the implementation of online application forms and overseeing the Film Commission's social media strategy. Coming from a background in marketing, communications and IT at Film New Zealand, Simon applies his experience to this role in order to improve communications with the industry and streamline event management on behalf of the Talent Development team. In conjunction with this role, Simon assists the International Screen Attraction team with responses to location, facilities and crew advice enquiries. Simon provides systems support to both teams.

  • Rowan Aitken

    System Administrator

    Rowan has responsibility for ensuring our IT runs smoothly.  Rowan has had a long and varied 30+ year career in IT, working in New Zealand, the UK and Australia in a range of industries as diverse as Customs, wholesale food distribution, life insurance and policing.  Before starting at the New Zealand Film Commission he was responsible for IT at the New Zealand Festival.

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 23 August 2017

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