NZFC to host global inclusion summit with speakers Jacinda Ardern, Niki Caro and Franklin Leonard

The Black List founder Franklin Leonard. 

The New Zealand Film Commission and Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI), with support from The Walt Disney Studios, will host a global summit set to tackle representation and inclusion in the screen industry this October.

The Power of Inclusion boasts a line up of speakers that include NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; writers and directors Niki Caro (Mulan, The Zookeeper’s Wife) and Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda, Mary Shelley); MACRO founder and CEO Charles D. King (Sorry to Bother You, Mudbound); The Black List founder Franklin Leonard; writer and producer Philippa Boyens (Lord of the Rings); expert on social change in media, Dr. Stacy L. Smith; and actor, film and theatre maker Ana Scotney (Ngāti Tāwhaki) (The Breaker Upperers).

The two day event, to be held in Auckland, will look at core changes in the industry, such as how distribution models are being disrupted, in what way the boundaries of storytelling are being pushed or how the technology landscape is widening,.

The Walt Disney Studios president of theatrical distribution, franchise management and business & audience insights Cathleen Taff said: “Our studio has enjoyed working with the New Zealand film community on several films, and we’re proud to be part of this important summit which will advance the global conversation around filmmaking, media and equality.”

NZFC chief executive Annabelle Sheehan said the summit reinforces New Zealand’s commitment to equality in the industry.

“The summit will be a dynamic forum for expanding the opportunities for real global connection that comes with the rising wave of under-represented voices now breaking through old screen industry norms and barriers. The New Zealand Film Commission is committed to empowering greater inclusion and diversity in the New Zealand screen sector. In hosting the summit the New Zealand voice will figure in the expanding global screen economy.”

President of WIFTI Helene Granqvist says “On the heels of #metoo, it is more important than ever that women organize to support each other in the crucial work for equal rights and the same opportunities afforded to men. WIFT networks all over the globe have been working together for more than 40 years and we will continue until we have equal representation throughout the industry.”

The Power of Inclusion will be held in Auckland October 3-4.