The New Zealand Film Commission has appointed of David Strong as its new CEO. He replaces Annabelle Sheehan, who stepped down from the role in May after three and a half years in the role.

With a background both in the army and the film industry, String has been a specialist advisor to major motion pictures and international streaming TV series since 2006. These include Disney’s “Mulan” and Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” TV series. He is a co-owner of Wellington-based Craftinc Films Limited and has written, directed and produced several independent short films.

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 and ensure safe workplaces for all persons involved in screen production. Its guidelines were part of the industry’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Strong is currently leading the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE), at Te Amorangi M?tauranga Matua Tertiary Education Commission, which is charged with creating a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system. He takes up the CEO role at the NZFC from July 12.

“(Strong) is a strategic leader with senior leadership experience across government, the defense 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,” said NZFC board chair Dame Kerry Prendergast.

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