Lmr B O P Film Photo Shoot 50 Copy 3

Parting words from previous Film Bay of Plenty's CEO, Anton Steel

Published 21 July 2021 | by Elysia Gibb

After 5 years committing of investment, building up the Screen Media Industry in the Bay of Plenty region, I am stepping back from an operational level, retiring as CEO of Film Bay of Plenty, while remaining as a trustee focused on ongoing strategy.

I want to give a lot of gratitude towards the team that have supported me on this journey. Firstly, the wonderful support of Tracy, Jade and Elysia, who I am confident will continue to do an outstanding job for both the the local industry and the region. Also thanks to our board of trustees, who have given me so much of their time, wisdom and support throughout the years.  It’s been an honour working with creatives and collective’s like Steambox, who are truly shining on the nations stage, and all those champions who help to foster the screen media communities from Tauranga to Taupo.  And we couldn’t have achieved so much without the financial support of the regions councils and organisations like BayTrust, TECT and RECT - thank you for your support of this vision. Together, we have achieved amazing things in this time. I personally and we, as an industry, have grown so much. 

In the past year, Film Bay of Plenty has supported 2 Feature Films, 2 TV series, and a location shoot from a large scale American production come to the region; alongside numerous drama pilots, documentaries and ground breaking new media creation. The Bay is now thriving with new initiatives and people actively helping to grow the industry. 

Part of the five year vision, that we announced in 2016, was the establishment of film studios in the region.  So it is awesome that Waiariki Film Studios are currently hosting their 2nd production and we’re working on plans for a purpose built, indigenous film making hub that will benefit all of the Bay. I will still be involved in advancing this initiative as the Chair of the Board of Directors, and I look forward to sharing more about the next stages of this development soon. 

Connecting crew with work on all sorts of projects, large and small, and launching initiatives like Tohea (in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development), which gives rangatahi a step into the industry, are other achievements that I am stoked to have had a part in.

Our foundational mantra was connect, create and celebrate. Connecting with people, encouraging them to create together and celebrating everyone’s achievements. Collaboration, that is an essential part of a film set, has been an integral part of Film Bay of Plenty’s numerous achievements. I really hope to see this spirit thrive across the region in the future as multiple creative and screen media business dreams are realised. Thank you all for letting me serve and be part of this.

What next? - that is exactly the question.  It is time for a change in my professional direction and I want to focus on creation. One of the projects I am developing is an action film, based on a true story from the Bay of Plenty, that deals with and hopefully helps normalise the battle with mental health. I also hope to leverage my 25 years of onscreen story-telling experience, and look forward to the opportunity to work with the amazing network of creatives and crew across the region.  I have a heart for the underdog and a desire to call people forward to greatness, so I look forward to the next stage in the journey and finding avenues in which to express this. 

Ngā mihi nui

Anton Steel

 


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