Gisella Carr has been appointed chief executive of Film New Zealand (FNZ), which is responsible for promoting the region as a location for filming and production.
Carr has worked in a number of consultancy, management and policy roles across the creative industries although she has limited experience of the industry. Most recently she was director of funds development at the much admired national museum Te Papa in Wellington.
“Her ability for strategic thinking is phenomenal and she has been employed as a game changer,” FNZ chair Julian Grimmond told ScreenDaily.
“Instead of viewing this business as the credits on the end of films, we are looking at how we can be a cornerstone of the economy.”
Carr replaces Sue Thompson, the former Park Road Post, who has been acting head of FNZ since Judith McCann stepped down from the top job in September. McCann has reactivated her consulting firm MPics, which now has a formal relationship with international firm Nordicity, headquartered in Canada.
Grimmond said that last year New Zealand was second only to Canada in terms of foreign capital investment into film production.
This is expected to have been boosted by James Cameron’s Avatar, which was partly made in the country andYogi Bear, directed by Eric Brevig and produced by Donald De Line and Karen Rosenfelt, is currently being filmed on the North Island for Warner Bros.
Carr helped local production company the Gibson Group raise sponsorship for a video wall at Te Papa and, from international sources, for an interactive digital wall for the Museum of Copenhagen.
“She is a smart operator, good at finding money and will be a breath of fresh air,” said producer Dave Gibson. “Some of the links between Film New Zealand and parts of the local industry could be strengthened and she is likely to look at the whole nature of the business rather than accepting the way things have always been done.”