From the 2015/16 WIFT President

Posted Tuesday 13 Oct 2015

As you read this edition of E News, the AGM is taking place in Auckland, so as you can't all be there, here is a list of the year's highlights from President Sharon Menzies' report which is being tabled tonight.

We're pleased to inform you that the incoming 2015-16 WIFT NZ Board is:

President:                                              Kelly Martin

Auckland Region Representatives:          Jill Macnab, Fiona Milburn

Wellington Region Representatives:      Robin Laing, Desray Armstrong

South Island Region Representative:     Vanessa Wells

General Representatives:                       Sharon Menzies, Brenda Leeuwenberg

During the twelve months WIFT NZ:

  • Increased membership by 20%  with 516 members at 31 March 2015, and membership continuing to increase
  • Presented 30 regular workshops across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, covering informative and topical issues.  I would like to thank all of the people that have given their time and presented these workshops and the venues that have generously hosted them
  • Decided in policy to present the WIFT Awards as a biennial event with the next WIFT Awards on 25 February 2016
  • Delivered the first ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS master class under UP WITH THE PLAY, on the NZSPG,  in Auckland and Wellington;
  • Awarded the WIFT Mana Wahine Award at the Wairoa M?ori Film Festival to producer, Chelsea Winstanley
  • In conjunction with DEGNZ, presented a panel discussion chaired by Kim Hill to a packed Basement Theatre on the topic, Where are the Women Filmmakers?

WIFT NZ continues to be a reinvigorated organisation and a leading industry Guild.  The achievements this year can be attributable to the incredible efforts of the Board and our National Manager Patricia Watson.

WIFT NZ has three main sources of funding.  We are very grateful to ASB Community Trust (now Foundation North) for continued and increased financial support of WIFT.

We would also like to thank the NZ Film Commission for their generous and continued support with both an operating grant and specific programme funding. In 2014 we also received assistance from Screen Auckland and Unitec for the Finance and Co-production Summit. Their support was essential as we delivered a world-class event. We also acknowledge Auckland Council's contribution to our rent

And most important, we would like to thank the members - your support for women in film and television is essential and the driving force of WIFT NZ.

I would like to thank the Board who have given many hours of their time and expertise and also support of specific events and occasions, your commitment is appreciated.  I would also like to extend a special thanks to Catherine Fitzgerald, Jasmine McSweeney, Nikki Edwards, and Teremoana Rapley who are retiring from the Board.  Catherine, Jasmine, Nikki and Teremoana have all been instrumental in building WIFT NZ into the organisation it is today.

Sharon Menzies - WIFT President 2015/16.