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NZ Film Commission hires army vet Strong

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has appointed former army officer and experienced screen industry exec David Strong as its new CEO.

David Strong

Strong replaces Annabelle Sheehan, who stepped down from the role in May to return to Australia after three-and-a-half years in the role. He will take up the position on July 12.

Since 2006, Strong has been a specialist advisor to major motion pictures and international streaming TV series including Disney’s Mulan and Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series.

He is a co-owner of Wellington-based Craftinc. Films and has written, directed and produced several independent short films and collaborated on various multimedia theatre productions.

Strong is also a former lieutenant colonel with a 22-year career in the NZ Army, having served in the Middle East, Sarajevo, Bosnia and East Timor, and has two United Nations Commendations for Service to Peace.

Currently, Strong is leading the Reform of Vocational Education at Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua Tertiary Education Commission, which is charged with creating a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system.

In 2015, Strong was a founding member and inaugural chair of ScreenSafe, an independent pan-industry body established to improve the New Zealand screen sector’s health and safety.

NZFC board chair Dame Kerry Prendergast said: “David is a strategic leader with senior leadership experience across government, the defence force and the film industry. He is passionate about the art of film, filmmaking, the sustainability of the New Zealand screen industry and its contribution to New Zealand’s culture and economy.”

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