Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) Chair, Alastair Carruthers, has announced that Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mladen Ivancic will retire from the organisation on the 28th of July, 2023.
Alastair Carruthers says that although he is saddened by the news, the three decades of service from Mladen to the NZFC is unrivalled.
“Mladen is treasured at NZFC. His wealth of experience and knowledge is encyclopedic and his intelligent and humble leadership has been valued by everyone.”
Mladen was appointed as Finance Director in 1989 by then Executive Director Judith McCann. He has since held the roles of Deputy Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Acting CEO (a total of six times).
Alongside of his NZFC leadership roles, he played a key role in negotiating more than a dozen Official Co-Production treaties including with China, Germany, India, The Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, South Africa and the UK.
In 2006, Mladen was the recipient of the SPADA/Onfilm Industry Champion Award, an acknowledgment of his contribution to the screen industry in New Zealand.
Many iconic films have been funded by the NZFC during Mladen’s tenure including Once Were Warriors, An Angel at My Table, The World’s Fastest Indian, Whale Rider, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Heavenly Creatures and more recently Whina and Red, White and Brass.
In 2020, the New Zealand Government allocated NZD$50M of production funding to the NZFC to rejuvenate the sector in the wake of COVID19 disruptions.The Fund enabled local producers to create projects of scale for domestic and international audiences. Mladen was deeply involved in designing criteria and processes for the Fund, and in ensuring that the Fund was allocated appropriately and successfully, leading to $154m investment in films and television series in New Zealand.
The NZFC announced earlier this month that Annie Murray had been appointed as the new CEO for the organisation. Her appointment starts on 19 June, 2023.