Local movie chief KJ’s going global


A Queenstowner has won a prestigious international film scholarship. 

Film Queenstown executive manager Kevin “KJ” Jennings was awarded the Dancy Jones Professional Development Scholarship at a locations trade show run by the Association of Film Commissioners Inter-national (AFCI) in Los Angeles last Friday. 

Jennings, also the executive manager of Film Otago Southland, assists with TV, commercial and film shoots in the region. 

“It’s a great result for Film Otago Southland, given that there are over 350 film offices in the world, some with 40 or 50 staff,” he says. 

Jennings, 48 – also on the board of national film commission Film New Zealand – applied for the scholarship for funding to attend AFCI’s 2011 Cineposium conference in France in September. 

He’s also seeking help to complete his certified film commissioner qualification. 

Jennings told the AFCI that the past four Cineposiums were his most valuable educational tool but “fiscal realities” put his attendance this year in doubt. 

After his first Cineposium in Santa Fe, US, in 2007, Jennings set up a zero waste study during X-Men Origins: Wolverine – filmed mainly in Queenstown – early the following year. 

Film NZ took that project onboard by setting up a Greening the Screen website. 

AFCI boss Martin Cuff, who presented the scholarship to Jennings, says: “This award is evidence that a local film office is relevant in the global film community. 

“KJ is someone who takes what he learns at Cineposium and turns that knowledge into tangible projects with impressive results. 

“His outgoing personality and willingness to share knowledge made him an ideal winner.” 

Gisella Carr, Film NZ’s chief executive, adds: “It’s a prestigious award, and having KJ attend an event like Cineposium helps strengthen NZ’s international screen business interests and NZ’s regional film network.”