New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Chair, Kerry Prendergast, announced today that CEO Dave Gibson would step down from the role at the beginning of next year, after four years leading the agency.
Speaking after the June Board meeting, Prendergast said the Board had reluctantly accepted Gibson's resignation, "The change Dave affected during his tenure at the NZFC has resulted in an organisation which is more outward looking and engaged with the industry. I know his leadership will be missed by both the staff and the film industry."
Upon joining the NZFC in January 2014, Gibson oversaw the closure of the NZFC's sales agency, its subsequent replacement by Te Ahi Kā and an increased utilisation of offshore sales agents. The NZFC's VOD platform, NZ Film on Demand, was launched in July 2014.
In 2015, Gibson led the absorption of the offshore attractions agency Film NZ into the NZFC. He committed the NZFC to increased diversity in the film industry, through a series of programmes and initiatives to support filmmakers from all backgrounds encouraging them to express their unique voices through original storytelling. At the time he launched, with Jane Campion, a three-year scholarship programme for women filmmakers.
During his tenure, the output and diversity of New Zealand films has increased markedly. The NZFC has been involved in the financing of over 40 films in the last three years, with 2016 as one of the most successful years for New Zealand film with Hunt for the Wilderpeople taking the local box office top spot with over $11.5million.
Other critical or commerical successes in his time at the NZFC include Mahana, Tickled, Chasing Great, Poi E, One Thousand Ropes and, in release now, McLaren and Pecking Order.
Prendergast said Gibson had given six months' notice to allow the Board time to plan a recruitment and selection process, and will remain as CEO until January 2018.
Gibson said, "I've thoroughly enjoyed the last few years but have always believed CEO's shouldn't stay too long in organisations like the NZFC. I'm not sure what I'll do next, but I hope it will be as exciting and fulfilling."