Jack Christian appointed AFI chair

Jack Christian.

Producer Jack Christian has been appointed chairperson of the Australian Film Institute (AFI), succeeding Keith Rodger, who held the role for 12 months.

Christian is the CEO of Filmology Finance, which has offices in both Los Angeles and Melbourne. His recent credits include the upcoming feature Dead Guy, and the recent Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose, and he is the executive producer of Australian titles such as Troppo, Mercy Road, Run Rabbit Run, Love in Bloom, Seriously Red and The Reef: Stalked.

He has served on the AFI | AACTA board since 2020, and his appointment to chair comes as the AACTA Awards shift to a new home the Gold Coast and move from December to February in order to better align with the international awards season.

“I am profoundly honoured and humbled to take on the role of Chairperson for the AFI AACTA. This Academy represents the pinnacle of cinematic and television artistry in Australia and it’s a privilege to be given an opportunity to shape its direction and future. As we chart the course ahead, I am acutely aware of the responsibility and trust placed in me by my peers and the larger AFI AACTA community,” he said.

“Together, we’ll continue celebrating the profound stories our industry tells and expand our reach, ensuring Australian cinema and television are recognised globally.

“A sincere thanks to Keith Rodger for his unwavering dedication and guidance. His extensive contribution have continued to help fortify the AFI AACTA foundations.”

Prior to Rodger, the AFI chair position was held by Alan Finney for 12 years. Both remain on the board.

The recent annual general meeting of the academy also saw a range of new electees to the board: director and producer Nadia Tass; Jo Smith, steward of Newcastle’s Regal Cinema; Foxtel Group chief content and commercial officer and Binge managing director Amanda Laing, and GrilloHiggins partner Tony Petani. Blackfella Films producer Darren Dale and HWL Ebsworth Lawyers partner Jennifer Huby were both reappointed.

Exiting the board are Margaret Pomeranz and Noni Hazlehurst. AFI | AACTO CEO Damian Trewhella acknowledged their contributions, as well as that of Brian Walsh, who died in March and in whose honour AACTA last week established an award for emerging talent.

“I extend heartfelt appreciation to Noni Hazlehurst and Margaret Pomeranz for their steadfast devotion and service to AFI AACTA. Their endeavours bolstered the Academy’s bedrock, propelling us towards a trajectory of success,” he said.

“I’d also like to honour and remember the long-serving AFI AACTA Board member, Brian Walsh, who sadly passed earlier this year and whose contributions have been a beacon as we venture on a path that seeks to build upon his remarkable legacy.”

The board is supported by the AACTA management team, led by president Russell Crowe, vice president Nicole Kidman, patron Dr. George Miller and ambassador Cate Blanchett.