Our KJ off to Hollywood



Queenstown’s former film top dog’s taken on a dream role.

Kevin ‘KJ’ Jennings, who left his post with Film Otago Southland a year ago, has just been named Association of Film Commissioners International president, taking over from Jess Conoplia.

He says he’s excited to lead AFCI through the ‘‘uniquely challenging time’’ and is looking forward to building on Conoplia’s success.

It’s not his first rodeo with AFCI — he was a long-time member and was its board chair for three years from 2016.

During his 13-year tenure with FOS he did more than his fair share to raise New Zealand’s profile internationally as a filming destination, and helped diversify and boost the economy by bringing entertainment production companies into the region for filming.

Big-name movies he helped attract include Mulan, Mission: Impossible — Fallout and The Hobbit, and under his reign FOS earned the 2019 outstanding film commission’ award from the Location Managers Guild International.

According to Hollywood Reporter, AFCI board chair and Buffalo Niagara film commissioner Tim Clark says one of Jennings’ first priorities will be to expand AFCI’s Covid-19 global production alert resource, which provides the industry with updated info on pandemic-related policies globally.

‘‘KJ brings the experience, expertise and connections required to lead AFCI into 2021 and the post-Covid world,’’ Clark says.

‘‘He understands our organisation and is committed to helping members work more closely with content creators and policy-makers.’’

Mountain Scene couldn’t get hold of Jennings yesterday.