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Chatfield to depart NZFC

The NZFC’s Head of Development & Production, Lisa Chatfield, has resigned and will leave in April. She’s been in the post for two and half years, through the reorganisation of the Commission’s departments and staffing under CEO Dave Gibson.

Although the ads seeking her replacement are out, published internationally through Variety and other media (and here by us), Chatfield has made a bit of a rod for the NZFC’s back by being skilled across a broad range of areas. In an email sent to producers announcing Chatfield’s departure Gibson wished her well and credited her with having made “a massive contribution to the increased size, quality and diversity of New Zealand films” during her tenure.

The Commission may well not find someone with the same breadth of abilities ready and able to step into the job in two months when Chatfield departs. Gibson is prepared to take up the slack for a short period of time, but isn’t interested in adding the job to his plate, as predecessor Graeme Mason did when Head of Development Marilyn Milgrom left. “Rest assured,” Gibson wrote in an email sent to producers announcing Chatfield’s departure, “I have no desire to combine our roles!”

Chatfield will work with the Commission until mid-April, with other members of staff being brought up to speed on projects she’s involved with in the meantime. Currently the NZFC is supporting 17 films in pre-, production or post.

Gibson also noted that there would be potential candidates who might feel their skills were too focused towards either production or development, but hoped those people would apply for the job. To some extent Chatfield’s particular range of skills had shaped her job, and a new person would also do that – but differently.

Gibson has already demonstrated a willingness to fit jobs to people in restructuring, since his arrival and while folding Film NZ’s personnel into the Commission.

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