Kerry Prendergast, New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Chair, announced on Thursday (12 October) that Annabelle Sheehan will replace Dave Gibson as the next Chief Executive of the NZFC. Gibson will depart in early January 2018.
Making the announcement, Ms Prendergast said the Board was pleased to have attracted someone with Sheehan’s skills and background. “The Board was greatly impressed by Annabelle’s vision for the NZFC and her passion for film education, talent development and indigenous storytelling. I know she is looking forward to learning more about New Zealand’s film industry and meeting Kiwi filmmakers, and the Board and I are looking forward to working with her.”
CEO of South Australia Film Commission (SAFC) since 2015, Sheehan 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.
Ms Sheehan will take up her new role in mid January 2018 following a handover in December.