NZFC names Annie Murray CEO

Taima Anne (Annie) Murray (Te Arawa).

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has tapped Sky TV New Zealand head of originals Taima Anne (Annie) Murray (Te Arawa) to be its next CEO.

Murray will serve a five-year term, starting June 19.

In announcing her appointment, NFZC board chair Alastair Carruthers said he was delighted to have found someone of Murray’s calibre to lead the commission.

“She has exceptional experience and a deep commitment to stories from the diverse voices of Aotearoa. I have no doubt she will have a positive impact on filmmakers and the organisation in years to come,” he said.

Murray started at Sky TV in 2014 as a senior commissioner, and was appointed head of Sky originals in 2020. Prior to this she was head of external programming at Māori Television, and has also worked with the Broadcasting Commission (NZ On Air) and TVNZ. 

The executive also serves as interim co-chair of the Toi Mai Workforce Development Council board, a member of Te Kāhui Ahumahi, and is a member of the Bay of Plenty Regional Skills Leadership Group. She is also a Trustee of Ngā Taonga.

“I am honoured and humbled by the Board’s decision to entrust me with this opportunity to lead Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga,” said Murray.

“The Film Commission’s role is to champion exceptional storytellers to create enduring taonga for Aotearoa.  I have dedicated my career to empowering the stories and storytellers of New Zealand and I am privileged that in this role I can continue to do that.

“We have a New Zealand and global audience that wants high impact, authentic and culturally significant screen stories. New Zealand’s population is becoming more diverse, which creates rich opportunities for screen stories that reflect our many and varied communities.  I look forward to working with the team, the wider screen sector and international partners to explore exciting and new opportunities for the Film Commission now and in the future.”

The NZFC has been without a CEO since last August, when David Strong resigned after debate emerged about whether he had a conflict of interest regarding his project The Pilgrim, which received development funding from NZ On Air just prior to his appointment.

“My interest in The Pilgrim TV series was fully declared before I was appointed, with expert advice sought and then properly managed with the board. Recently, the board and I have worked through the issues. We have agreed, sadly, that my continuing growing private commitments are no longer compatible with this role,” he said at the time.