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Chris Payne

Head of International Relations New Zealand Film Commission

Chris Payne is part of the senior management team at the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), New Zealand’s national film agency, where he has worked since 2010.  He started in the feature film Development and Production team, prior to running the agency’s Talent Development and Relationships division.  Since March 2015 Chris has been Head of International Relations, working to connect New Zealand filmmakers and industry with the very best international partners, projects and business/career development opportunities.

Chris has a particular focus on brokering introductions that lead to official film and television co-productions under New Zealand’s 17 bilateral co-production treaties.  In recent years he has had extensive engagement with Asia, leading delegations of New Zealand producers and industry to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei, and he regularly attends key film festivals and markets in Asia, Europe and North America in support of New Zealand filmmakers, films and future projects.

Chris is the NZFC’s first point of contact for New Zealand’s overseas diplomatic posts, foreign diplomatic posts in New Zealand, and all of the NZFC’s sister agencies internationally.  Chris also works closely with the agency’s Head of Incentives to secure effective talent development outcomes for New Zealand filmmakers on Hollywood and other major international productions seeking the 5% Uplift as part of the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG).  He works with the Head of Marketing on all international film festival and market engagement and the profiling of outstanding New Zealand filmmakers globally.

Prior to his time at the NZFC, Chris worked in development and production at Tokyo-based production company, 100 Meter Films and in screenwriting, development and production roles in the New Zealand screen industry on a wide range of local and international productions.  He has also worked as business development manager at New Zealand’s leading commercial law firm, and is a former executive committee member of the Japan New Zealand Business Council.