Mission

Film Auckland Inc, (FAI) is the screen leader and voice of Auckland's screen industry. Recognising the economic importance of a thriving and growing screen industry to the wider economy, FAI works hard to support, faciliate and advocate for Auckland to have a sustainable, innovative and internationally competitive screen industry and infrastructure.

We encourage you to join Film Auckland Inc. to help us continue our work as a strong pan-screen industry body . This can be by a donation of a membership fee to join our association and/or your time and energy if you are able to assist with our work. 

2020 Board

Grant Baker Chair

Grant Baker is the Managing Partner and co-owner of Images & Sound, one of New Zealand’s longest running Post Production facilities based in Auckland, New Zealand. Grant has over 30 years experience in the New Zealand film and television industry starting his career at TVNZ as an audio engineer and later editor before becoming a post production supervisor, eventually joining Images & Sound in 1993 where he has worked on numerous feature films and TV drama productions.

Alex Lee Deputy Chair

Alex Lee is the current Deputy Chair of Film Auckland Incorporated. From 2014 - 2019 he held the role as Chair. He is a trained lawyer and filmmaker.

He has an entertainment law and commercial law practice in Auckland. Alex has taught law and film production in Hong Kong and New Zealand and was previously Head of the Department of Performing & Screen Arts at UNITEC.

Alex has been extensively involved as an advocate of as well as a capacity builder within the screen industry. He is a Co-director and Founding Trustee of the Documentary New Zealand Trust which runs the Oscar qualifying Doc Edge International Film Festival, Doc Edge Forum, Doc Edge Pitch, Doc Edge Schools, Doc Edge Goldies, Doc Edge Exhibition and other documentary advocacy work. He co-curates the festival programme, designs the industry programme. selects guests to the events, chooses the Pitch finalists and interactive projects for the Exhibition. He has served as international jury and speaker at major international film markets and events.

Alex has advocated for greater support and visibility for the Asian screen and performing arts community. He was a Board Member of Creative Coalition, previously National Executive Member of the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand, past Mayoral Think-tank on the creative industries as well as the China Club sub-committee of the NZ Film Commission.

He is a Board Member of Creative Coalition and a previous National Executive Member of the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand. He was also on the past Mayoral Think-tank on the creative industries as well as the China Club sub-committee of the NZ Film Commission.

Alex has been invited to be a panellist and speaker on many international screen forums as well as a jury member of various leading film festivals overseas.

He is working a various NZ/international co-productions in narrative and documentary long form films as well as immersive/interactive stories.

Marg Slater Secretary

Producing international TVCs in New Zealand since 1994, Marg Slater has worked with directors from all over the world. She has also sat on the board of the locations office, Film NZ; is currently a Board Member of Auckland Film, and a Trustee of The New Zealand Dance Advancement Trust. Marg has developed & produced, six short films, music videos and produced Vincent Ward’s Rain of the Children. In 2009, she joined TBWA\Whybin as Head of TV Production, and spent a brief period as line producer for It’s In the Bag, Series 3. In 2011 Marg produced BARE, a theatre production, with Toa Fraser and Ian Hughes, to raise funds for the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Fund. In June 2012, she returned fulltime to Slater Films to focus on the development and production of TV drama, and children’s online content also freelance producer for TVC’s. In 2015 Marg produced the Auckland season of Lumina for The New Zealand Dance Company.

David Rowell Treasurer

David Rowell has worked in the Motion Picture industry for over thirty years, contracting to a variety of US, Canadian, New Zealand, Australian, and French productions.  He has worked as Financial Controller, Production Accountant, Production Manager, Production Executive and Production Supervisor for various US Studios including Warner Bros, Viacom, Paramount, Disney, Sony Columbia Tristar, 20th Century Fox, and other independents.  From 2000 to 2017, David was an owner and director of Studio West, a successful Motion Picture Production Facility in Auckland. 

Annie Dodman Board Member

Annie is a respected freelance production manager for local and international productions, with over 35 years experience. Prior to that she has worked as the Floor Manager for television in Christchurch, and as a location manager. Since then have worked on many films and MOW’s including several for the Disney Channel and features 30 Days of Night, Aliens in the Attic and Walking with Dinosaurs.

James Brookes Board Member

James Brookes is a Company Director of Auckland’s Department of Post, and Post Supervisor for up to 15 major film and television productions, annually.  A graduate of South Seas film and television school, Brookes’ technical background as an Online Editor gives him a unique working knowledge of the post process, from production through delivery. Over the years he has become known for his collaborative nature, working to ensure that every producer is empowered and enabled to access the best technology, resources and expertise our region has to offer, regardless of scope or budget. James Brookes endeavours to unite the Screen Production community, towards the common goal of working together to create a stronger regional Film sector across Auckland. 

Graham Dunster Board Member

Graham is the founder/operator of Auckland Actors Ltd, one of the longest running and most successful talent agencies in the country. He has had eleven years of administrative experience in the UK commercial television scene. He currently also is the chair of the Actors Agents Association of NZ (AAANZ), is an Equity supporter, and founded the NZ Actors Agents Guild.

Sioux MacDonald Board Member

Sioux has for the last twenty one years, been the owner of  Film Crews, an Auckland based crew booking agency, servicing all New Zealand and international producers needing film crew in NZ. Prior to owning Film Crews, Sioux spent 9 years in the post production sector at TVNZ, Go Post Avalon Studios, Flying Start Pictures, Communicado, Juice TV, and AAV New Zealand. She is also the vice president of the ‘Screen Industry Guild’ (formally the NZFVTG)

Gabriel Reid Board Member

Gabriel Reid has worked in theatre, film, and television as an actor, writer, promoter, producer and director. He has held staff positions at TVNZ and Opera New Zealand. His creative work has garnered PromaxBDA, Tropfest and Writers guilds awards. He researched his Ph.D. in Film Studies at such notable companies as Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic, Blue Sky Studios and Weta Digital. He researched his M.A. thesis at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre and Renaissance Films. He has lectured on Film History and New Zealand Cinema at Unitec Institute of Technology. Gabriel is a former vice president of the Directors & Editors Guild and remains on their board. He is a member of Actors Equity and the New Zealand Writers Guild.

Alice Shearman Board Member

Alice is the Executive Director of the New Zealand Writers Guild (NZWG). With over 18 years’ experience in the film and television industry, starting at Film Equipment Company (FEC) in Wellington. Previously Alice was the Deputy Chairperson of the Actors Agent's Association of New Zealand (AAANZ) while she was a Screen & Literary Agent for over 9 years.

Sam Ramlu Board Member

Sam is the Managing Director and co-founder of Method – an award winning creative innovations agency, and M Theory – an AR/VR experience agency. 

A proven leader and innovator with extensive knowledge and experience in the creative tech space Sam has over 20 years’ experience delivering awe-inspiring experiences in digital, exhibitions, and augmented and virtual reality.

She’s passionate about creating experiences and stories that connect with audiences and sees technology as a driver and enabler in making these experiences engaging, fun and immersive. Sam is actively leading the charge with creating immersive, and AR & VR films, games and experiences to get New Zealand noticed on the international scale while also fostering further collaboration between the creative, tech, and film industries.

Mike Rehu Board Member

Mike Rehu runs Tahu Films and Media, is a director of Documentary NZ Trust and Chairperson of Spalk; a US sportstech start up. In his recent role as Head of Content at Maori Television, he was part of the team that enabled feature-length content like ANZAC Tides of Blood, Mahana, Waru and Poi E. In the past 30 years he has worked internationally for BBC, Disney and Newscorp.

Ngaire Fuata Board Member

Ngaire is a Company Director of SunPix, Producers of the long-running Pacific Islands television show “Tagata Pasifika”. She's also a Director of SunPix Post (post production house formerly known as VTR and Suite16) and Malo Pasifika Network, the Pacific Islands media content platform, TP+.  She started her career in the Maori and Pacific Programmes Department at TVNZ and has over 30 years experience in television production and more recently film.  Ngaire is of Rotuman (Fiji Islands) and Dutch descent.

Mary Lose Board Member

Mary is a communication, partnership and media specialist with more than two decades of experience working in and now leading strategic engagement and communication outcomes. Experienced internal and external stakeholder leader who collaborates and creates relationships across all levels of business.  

Born and raised in Auckland, she has a teenage daughter and they proudly live in West Auckland. In the 1950’s her parents sold their home in St Marys Bay and bought a home on a quarter-acre section out West as they had five sons and one on the way, the two-bedroom home with a small courtyard wasn’t working for them.  They were one of the first Māori and Pacific families to move to what was, at the time, a fairly rural area of Glendene. Mary's parents would then have two more children before their finale, ninth - Mary. 
 
Mary has had a diverse career in many industries, hospitality journalism, broadcasting in front and behind the microphone and camera, public sector in education, health, social wellness and housing and now the finance sector of banking.  A foundation student of South Seas Film and Television School of 1992, it remains very close to Mary in terms of her whanau and friends who continue to work in it.  As a lover of stories, Mary loves to learn and understand what is bubbling under and eventually above the surface of our great artistic minds.

Background

Film Auckland Inc (FAI) began in 2003 as an industry initiative to promote the Auckland region as an attractive filming destination, as well as to support opportunities for local industry. FAI supported and facilitated the development of the Auckland Film Studios located in Henderson.

In late 2010, Auckland City Council developed a specialist screen focused team under the umbrella of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development Ltd (ATEED). FAI agreed to allow ATEED to use the branding Film Auckland for this team and FAI acted as an advisory screen industry board to ATEED.

In recent years, the screen industry in New Zealand faced a downturn as our screen incentive scheme was less attractive due to increasing competition worldwide for screen productions.

On Nov 14 2013, FAI led a drive to convince the then National Government not to tamper but rather to continue with favourable screen incentives. It facilitated an emergency Screen Industry Forum - a state-of-the-nation meeting of more than 400 industry practitioners and businesses on the rapid decline of the film industry due to the government’s refusal to offer attractive tax incentives for big overseas productions.

In response to a decline in the screen business in New Zealand, more than 400 people in the industry came together for a forum recently.

In the following videos recorded at the event, a panel discusses the current challenges and business people share their personal concerns.

This video shows highlights from a panel discussion, chaired by Rod Oram, with Dave Rowell (Studio West), Richard Bluck (NZ Cinematographers Society/Head of Technicians Guild in Wellington), Brendon Durey (Technicians Guild), Jeff Szusterman (Equity NZ), Michael Bennett (Director/Writer), Stephen Knightly (NZ Game Developers Association) and Rachel Jean (Head of Development, South Pacific Pictures).

This video below shows personal responses of business people to screen industry issues.

The cry was heard, and within a month Prime Minister John Key had announced a rise to 20% rebate on international production, and a further 5% for productions that met criteria that would specifically benefit local industry.  This confirmed the importance of FAI as the pan-screen industry voice.

FAI held a hui at UNITEC for the screen industry to identify the type of studios required in Auckland along side what the important factors are to take into consideration in designing and locating new studios.

It continues to provide advice and comment to both ATEED and govrenment on important issues affecting the industry as a whole and in particular, within the Auckland region. It provides highly relevant comment on the incentives, the economic reasoning behind the use of incentives and on the floor feedback on matters that affect the sustainability of the diverse screen and supporting businesses.

In 2014, both FAI and ATEED agreed to further rebrand with the specialist permitting and screen promotion and attraction office being called Screen Auckland, while FAI regained the use of Film Auckland Inc.

Screen Auckland looks after the promotion of the Auckland region as a destination to both local and foreign productions, as well as being tasked with the day-to-day business of facilitation and permitting on public land.

FAI takes an inclusive ‘pan-screen industry’ approach reflecting today’s filmic landscape.

Recently in the run-up to the 2017 general elections, FAI ran the Screen Industry Election Forum to question the main political parties as to their election platforms and to answer questions pertinent to our screen industry.

FAI supports a robust and vital screen ecology across all screen sectors including film, television, digital content and transmedia, as well as new developing technologies. It also values the associated supporting economic sectors.

The screen industry is a major contributor to Auckland’s economy and a key growth sector identified in the Economic Development Strategy. Production activity alone generates more than $ 700 million annual gross revenue, and the wider industry injects more than $ 2 billion into the regional economy.

Auckland’s unique and diverse locations, skilled production personnel (crews, actors, directors, writers etc) and modern screen infrastructure make it an attractive destination for international creative industries.

FAI believes it is important to have an independent industry-run organisation whose purpose is to represent the screen industry for the benefit of all who have an interest in it as well as the wider Auckland community.

Film Auckland Inc has a board of directors comprising experienced industry practitioners who are key industry leaders from across creative and technical practitioners, associated businesses and professions to work to create a healthy sustainable screen ecology within the Auckland region. They support the  screen industry by tirelessly providing pro bono time, skills, knowledge and resources to FAI activities.

It prides itself on leading the way in developing, supporting and maintaining the health of the screen industry within Auckland, as well as providing representation and a voice for all sectors of the industry.





Constitution

Film Auckland’s Inc. Constitution is available to download here

Advisors

Film Auckland is pleased to have the following esteemed Advisors.

Tony Johnson

Tim Coddington

Chloe Smith

Michael Brook

Katie Kempe