David Strong.

David Strong will be the next CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), succeeding Annabelle Sheehan.

Strong has worked in the screen industry since 2006, including as a specialist advisor on major projects such as Disney’s Mulan and Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series.

He is the co-owner of Wellington-based Craftinc.Films Limited, and has written, directed and produced several independent short films.

Strong was also 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 and ensure safe workplaces.

Outside of the screen industry, Strong is currently leading the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE), at Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua Tertiary Education Commission.

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

Announcing Strong’s appointment, 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.

“Together with his strategic leadership, work in the film industry, independent filmmaking and his extensive experience supporting government agencies across a range of organisations, myself and the board very much look forward to working with him as he leads the New Zealand Film Commission into the future.”

Sheehan departed the NZFC in May to return to Australia to be with family while she completes treatment for breast cancer.

Strong will start in the role July 12.

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