With much sadness, the NZFC and the New Zealand screen industry farewells producer, distributor, exhibitor and former NZFC Chair, Barrie Everard.
Barrie’s film industry career began in Australia in the 1960s. Upon moving to New Zealand, he began a 50-year involvement with New Zealand’s entertainment industry, starting in distribution with Columbia Pictures New Zealand. He started his own distribution company, Everard Films, in 1980.
In his early days as a distributor, Barrie recognized the power of radio in getting his message to key audience segments, something that led to a successful partnership with Radio Hauraki, and later to his buying radio station 89FM which quickly became the leading radio brand in Auckland’s youth market.
Barrie was also involved in making films and was the producer on The Leading Edge (1987), Never Say Die (1988) Blerta Revisted (2001) and Hotere (2002).
He established the Berkley Cinema Group, which became one of the largest cinema chains in Auckland with four upmarket locations. The cinemas provided a new level of comfort and service, and other theatres quickly copied the Berkley model.
Barrie was appointed to the NZFC Board in 1998 and was named Chair in 2002, a position he retained until 2006. He believed strongly that every film supported by the NZFC should make finding a New Zealand audience a priority, a philosophy that has endured to this day.
In the 2007 New Year’s Honours, Everard was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the film industry.
He sold the Berkley chain to Hoyts Entertainment in 2010, but continued to harbour a keen interest in all areas of the movie business.
Barrie supported many charitable causes and was fiercely loyal to his family and friends (and any team playing for New Zealand, regardless of the sport).
Our thoughts and best wishes go to his wife Trish and daughter Cara.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016