Veteran Kiwi TV and film producer Dave Gibson is the new CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission, succeeding Graeme Mason who is now CEO of Screen Australia.
Gibson is selling his shares in the Gibson Group, the Wellington-based production company he founded 35 years ago. Senior management Victoria Spackman, Allan Smith, Brett Tompkins and Bevin Linkhorn are buying his stake.
His five-year term starts in January. "It’s been a tough decision to move from the production industry where I’ve spent most of my working life but I’m excited by the challenge of working at the Film Commission and trying to make a difference," Gibson tells IF.
“Dave Gibson is one of New Zealand’s most experienced film and television producers and we are delighted to have secured his services for this important leadership role” said NZFC chair Patsy Reddy.
It's a popular choice among the NZ screen industry judging by initial reactions, particularly as some thought the job would go to a non-Kiwi. “An excellent choice, and certainly one which was unexpected," South Pacific Pictures chairman John Barnett tells IF.
"It's great to have someone on board whose understanding of the business is practical rather than theoretical. Dave has 30+ years of exposure to all facets of the screen industry and I believe he can really create a climate which is favourable to industry growth.”
Australian producer Antony I Ginnane said, “It is rarer than it should be for a producer to be chosen to run a funding bureaucracy anywhere in the world. Dave is a fantastic choice for this position- he brings almost 40 years of on the ground experience and will be a great ally for Australian producers wishing to engage with New Zealand.”
Reddy said, "He has a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience of the New Zealand industry across both film and television which we see as invaluable for the NZFC, particularly as we seek to encourage the development of sustainable businesses with stronger international reach.”
In 2005 he was named the SPADA OnFilm industry champion and in 2012 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the film and TV industry. He was a member of the NZFC board in the mid-1990s.
His film and TV credits include The Silent One, Street Hospital, Fresh Meat, Time Trackers, Aftershock, Welcome to Paradise, Holly's Heroes, The Strip, The Last Ocean and Paradise Café.