The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has appointed David Strong, a former military officer and senior director of the film industry, as its new CEO.
Strong replaces Annabelle Sheehan, who left her post in May to return to Australia after three and a half years in the post. He will take up his post on July 12.
Since 2006, Strong has been a specialist advisor for major motion pictures and international streaming TV series, including Disney’s Mulan and Amazon’s Lord of the Rings.
He is co-owner of Craftinc, based in Wellington. Films and has written, directed and produced several independent short films and collaborated on various multimedia theatrical productions.
Strong is also a former Lieutenant Colonel with a 22-year career in the New Zealand Army, having served in the Middle East, Sarajevo, Bosnia and East Timor, and has received two United Nations commendations for the peace service.
Currently, Strong is leading vocational education reform at the Te Amorangi Matauranga Matua Higher Education Commission, which is responsible for creating a strong, unified and sustainable vocational education system.
In 2015, Strong was a founding member and inaugural chair of ScreenSafe, an independent, cross-industry body created to improve the health and safety of New Zealand’s screen industry.
NZFC Board Chair Dame Kerry Prendergast said: “David is a strategic leader with senior leadership experience in government, the defense force and the film industry. He is passionate about the art of cinema, filmmaking, the sustainability of the New Zealand film industry and its contribution to New Zealand culture and economy.