The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has announced that Leanne Saunders will become Head of Production and Development. She’ll replace Lisa Chatfield who recently left to join Pukeko Pictures.
Saunders has a boatload of experience in film and television production, including several low-budget titles.
Her most recent credits are for Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Tammy Davis’ Born to Dance, both of which have done good box office and sold well internationally.
Other features include Headstrong titles The Devil Dared Me To and A Song of Good as well as Daniel Joseph Borgman’s debut feature The Weight of Elephants, which led to the co-production treaty between Denmark and New Zealand, Paul Campion’s UK-NZ production The Devil’s Rock and Stephen Kang’s Desert, which played Korea’s Busan festival.
NZFC CEO Dave Gibson said, “Leanne is one of New Zealand’s most experienced film producers and I am delighted she has accepted this key role at the NZFC. Her regular attendance at international festivals and markets, combined with her extensive development and production experience, makes her an ideal addition to the NZFC team.”
Prior to commencing her position with the NZFC next month Leanne will leave Piki Films, which produced Wilderpeople. She’ll step away from other projects she has in development and leave her position as a board member of SPADA.