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AFI | AACTA Announce New Chair and Vice Chair to the Board

AFI | AACTA BOARD ANNOUNCE NEW CHAIR, KEITH RODGER, AND VICE CHAIR MARGARET POMERANZ

 

After an historic 12 years of leadership, Alan Finney has announced he will step down from his role as the Chairperson of the Australian Film Institute (the AFI – also the governing body of the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts, AACTA).  The Australian Academy is pleased to announce that award-winning producer, Keith Rodger has been unanimously elected by the AFI Board as its new Chair. Rodger will be supported by industry renowned screenwriter and screen personality, Margaret Pomeranz who has been appointed in the new position of Vice Chair.

The Australian Film Institute (AFI) was established in 1958 and the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) founded in 2011 to help support the development of an Australian screen creative community and industry.  Alan Finney has been the AFI’s longest serving Chair (2010-2022). 

As Chair of the AFI, Alan helped usher in many major achievements including:

  • The development and launch of the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) and the AACTA Awards
  • The relaunch and growth of AFI AACTA Screen Culture, Education and Talent Development Programs
  • The establishment and growth of AFI AACTA’s global programs including the AACTA Asia International Engagement Program over the past 5 years.

Finney is a lifelong contributor to the development of the Australian screen industry achieving his first film credit in 1969 for the short film Hey Al, Baby ahead an extensive career that included the distribution of many classic Australian Films (including MAD MAX, BREAKER MORANT, PROOF, ROMPER STOMPER, THE PIANO, MURIEL’S WEDDING, THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and THE CASTLE). In 2002, Alan was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to Australian film and in November 2010, Alan received the Screen Producers' Association of Australia's Maura Fay Award for Services to the Industry.

Finney will continue to serve as a key member of the AFI Board, while stepping down from his role of Chair. In a statement to AFI AACTA members and the Australian Screen Community and Industry, Alan Finney said “I believe the AFI and our Australian Academy (AACTA) has made great progress over the past decade and I have full confidence in our new Chair Keith Rodger and Vice Chair Margaret Pomeranz working with the AFI Board, CEO Damian Trewhella and senior management to continue moving our organisation and programs forward. I look forward to continuing to be involved as an AFI Director and serving our membership and industry however I can.”

“I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me and offered their friendship to me as Chair of the AFI over the journey across the last 12 years. It’s been an honour and a privilege to be able to serve in this capacity.”

Incoming AFI Chair, Keith Rodger has been a member of the AFI Board since 2020 and a significant contributor to the Australian Screen Sector over recent decades, from production of numerous Australian Films to the development of major new Film Studios at Coffs Harbour.

Keith Rodger said “Thank you Alan Finney for your incredible contribution to national industry programs over so long and I am honoured to be able to work with the AFI AACTA Board, Management and our members to build on your legacy.  Australia has an incredible base of talented screen professionals in front of and behind the camera and coupled with the invaluable support of Federal and State Governments, and ever greater innovation and global engagement opportunities, I look forward to driving inclusive and dynamic programs that enhance our screen industry’s unity, global relevance, education, growth and impact."

Newly appointed AFI Vice Chair, Margaret Pomeranz and longstanding industry champion has been an AFI Board member since 2015. Her incredible contributions to the Australian screen industry began in 1970, and she continues to play an active role in leading AFI forward.

Margaret Pomeranz said “Alan’s significant contribution and leadership of the AFI Board over the past 12 years has been felt throughout the industry. His insights, knowledge and experience will be sorely missed. I look forward to working closely with Keith, the rest of the AFI Board and Management on this next chapter for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.”

AFI | AACTA President, Russell Crowe, said: “I have long considered, and called Alan Finney “the godfather” of Australian cinema. Alan’s extraordinary energy in the 70’s through to the 80’s solidified Australian cinema in the eyes of a global audience and led directly to a fresh explosion of attention in the 90’s, to the solid pathways now available to Australian filmmakers. His contribution has been nothing short of amazing. 

I have worked with Keith Rodger for 20+ years, and I know he’s the right person to take us through any challenges and opportunities that face us in the short-term and to long-term success beyond. Looking forward to building on the work done before and taking our organisation to an even stronger place.”

AFI AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said: “I’d like to sincerely thank Alan Finney for all of his outstanding support as AFI Chair in our longstanding collaboration.  Alan's constant willingness to share his time, energies, wisdom and experience gained through his extensive industry career has been invaluable to AFI AACTA’s journey.  It’s been an epic contribution over so long and it’s wonderful to have a succession plan including the talent, skills and experience of incoming Chair Keith Rodger and Vice Chair Margaret Pomeranz – thank you to you all”.

The AFI Board is made up of industry leading experts and executives who oversee the strategic direction of the organisation. The AFI Board is made of Keith Rodger (Chair), Margaret Pomeranz (Vice Chair), Alan Finney, Noni Hazlehurst, Jennifer Huby, Jack Christian, Brian Walsh, and Darren Dale. The Board is supported by the AACTA Management team and is lead by President, Russell Crowe, Vice President Nicole Kidman, Patron Dr. George Miller, and Ambassador Cate Blanchett.

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