Manager of Film Otago Southland resigns

Kevin Jennings. Photo: Supplied
Kevin Jennings. Photo: Supplied
Film Otago Southland executive manager Kevin Jennings has resigned, effective December 31.

In a statement, the organisation's chairman Michael Hesp said Mr Jennings had given ''outstanding service" to the film period over many years, initially in Queenstown and then across the entire region.

His involvement with the Association of Film Commissions International (AFCI) - including four years of which he spent as chairman, managing its restructure and relocation to Los Angeles - had raised the international profile of the region and New Zealand as a "desirable film destination", he said.

The association was a global organisation representing 300 film offices world-wide.

Mr Hesp said his work in obtaining access to sensitive government land has been world-leading - Mr Jennings was now recognised as an international expert around access to locations on government land, and was the only certified film commissioner in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Jennings said after 13 years in the role this was the perfect time to move on, having just accepted a global award for Outstanding Film Commission on behalf of Film Otago Southland, and following Amazon's announcement it would base its new Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand.

He said the importance of access to locations has been a large part of the job.

"It’s crucial – our locations are the key reason we have an industry in this part of the world.

"If we can’t access them, our product doesn’t exist.”

Regarding the future of the industry, Mr Jennings said streaming services had triggered "extraordinary change" while also presenting new opportunities.

He was also delighted to see the local industry put their hand up to take a role in promoting themselves.

"We are unique in that we are in a remote location with an incredible crew who are locally based.

"The future of the industry is full of possibilities."

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