Issue date: 
Saturday, 10 August 2013

The NZFC is pleased to support Libertine Pictures through our business development scheme.

The business development scheme is a three year programme commencing in 2013/14 to help new and existing screen sector businesses grow to the next stage.

More details of the scheme will be announced in September.  You can read more about the scheme here.

Libertine is the brain-child of Richard Fletcher, Neil Cross and Paul Davis.  For more information please contact or see their media release as follows:

New Zealand Production Company Launches

Libertine Pictures receives inaugural New Zealand Film Commission business development scheme funding

Auckland, 10 August, 2013 - At this weekend’s Big Screen Symposium, New Zealand producers Richard Fletcher and Paul Davis unveiled details of Libertine Pictures, a new film and television production company with ambitious plans for the country’s screen production sector.

Fletcher and Davis, who are joint managing directors, formed the company with acclaimed New Zealand-based writer Neil Cross, who will be Libertine’s creative director. Cross is the creator of the crime thriller Luther for the BBC whose writing credits also include Doctor Who, Universal’s box office hit Mama and NBC’s upcoming historical action-adventure series Crossbones

Libertine sets itself apart from other New Zealand production companies in that it brings together both a group of established and emerging filmmakers, and joins forces with individuals and companies with wide expertise in development, local distribution, and international sales.

“We are committed to empowering creators and ensure they are at the core of the filmmaking process by supporting them with business knowledge and infrastructure alongside domestic and international market expertise,” said Fletcher.

The company is owned by its principals and will work across film and television generating New Zealand originated projects as well as co-producing and servicing inward production. 

New Zealand Film Commission CEO Graeme Mason confirmed Libertine as the first recipient of funding under the New Zealand Film Commission’s new business development scheme, details of which he announced at the event. This funding provides Libertine with the security of a devolved contribution towards its first three years of development and overhead financing.

Richard Fletcher said the new partnership between the New Zealand Film Commission and filmmakers was a unique opportunity to deliver very real growth to the New Zealand screen production sector. 

“Paul and I realised that while there are many highly talented and experienced people involved in the local industry, their expertise tends to be focussed in particularly specialised areas. Projects may fail to reach their potential because it is hard to tap into a combination of high quality development, production and distribution expertise at an early stage. We asked ourselves how could we harness that creativity and bring their screen ideas to production?”

“We have worked extensively in the industry both locally and overseas and between us we have built up a valuable range of contacts and relationships. Libertine will offer structured expertise providing a collaborative solution for filmmakers.” 

“While some productions will be originated by and wholly owned by Libertine, our philosophy is to encourage others to work with us, with Libertine either acting as a producer, executive producer, or in a consultancy role. The output will be a mix of wholly owned, jointly owned, and work for hire”.

Libertine has formed non-exclusive filmmaking partnerships with a cross section of New Zealand’s emerging and established talent: Cliff Curtis, Ainsley Gardiner of Whenua Film, Trevor Haysom of T.H.E. Film, Thomas Robins and David Stubbs of KHF Media, Taika Waititi and Chelsea Winstanley of Defender Films and David White of White Balance Pictures.

“Whilst we expect to work closely with our filmmaking partners we recognise the importance of the filmmakers also having wider collaboration with other partners.  We wish to create choice for the filmmaker,” said Fletcher.

Emily Anderton, an experienced development consultant and script editor is the company’s Head of Development. Anderton was formerly an executive at the New Cinema Fund of the UK Film Council. Publishing and communications executive Nadya Kooznetzoff will be Head of Literary Acquisitions. Kooznetzoff spent a decade in publishing in London marketing the Picador list and as Marketing Director for Pan Macmillan and is currently a consultant to the NZ Book Council.

Paul Davis said Libertine has in place cornerstone sales and distribution relationships with established players, allowing in depth knowledge of the local and international market place to inform all development decision making.

Tim Haslam’s London based Embankment Films has a non-exclusive arrangement to represent international sales on the company’s films. Haslam is one of the UK’s most experienced sales executives and has been involved in the international licensing of more than 150 feature films in a twenty year career.

Tim Haslam commented: “Embankment’s role encompasses worldwide sales and distribution – most importantly Embankment will work closely with Libertine; from originating concept through to script development, talent packaging, and financing – always with a keen emphasis on international sales and distribution outside of the New Zealand domestic market.”

Kelly Roger’s Rialto Distribution will act on a non-exclusive basis as the company’s New Zealand and Australian distributor with Libertine taking responsibility for marketing and publicity. 

Kelly Rogers added, “Rialto is very excited about the filmmaking talent that has been brought together in Libertine’s business plan.  We will look forward to working with them to bring their films to the widest possible audience.”

Fletcher said that while the initial emphasis would be on feature films, for the company to achieve its financial goals and ambitions it was essential to also be active in television production.

“We are very privileged to have Neil’s extensive experience to develop television content and are very excited about his strong desire to foster new writing talent.” 

Libertine will commence operations from 1 September.


Richard Fletcher – Joint Managing-Director

Richard is an experienced producer and executive producer with particular knowledge in film financing.  He was Head of Business Affairs at the New Zealand Film Commission and previously an executive at publically listed and privately held distribution companies in Australia and the UK.

Paul Davis – Joint Managing-Director

Paul is an experienced producer and executive producer with particular knowledge in sales and marketing.  He has held senior management positions at a number of high profile public and private international sales companies based in the UK, including Intermedia and Majestic Films.

Neil Cross – Creative Director

Neil is world-class and highly acclaimed novelist, television and film writer responsible for the hit BBC TV series Luther and Universal’s Mama, which has grossed more than US$146 million at the box office, as well as numerous other screen credits and novels.

Emily Anderton – Head of Development

Emily is an experienced development executive and script editor.  Before working as a freelance script consultant in New Zealand and Australia she was an executive at the New Cinema Fund of the UK Film Council.

Nadya Kooznetzoff – Head of Literary Acquisitions

Nadya is an experienced publishing and communications executive.  After starting in newspaper journalism she spent a decade in book publishing in London responsible for marketing the Picador list and as Marketing Director for Pan Macmillan.  Since returning to New Zealand she has worked as a communications consultant and is currently a consultant to the New Zealand Book Council.

Embankment Films

Embankment is a bespoke international sales company, combining licensing, sales and distribution with high quality marketing. Embankment enables filmmakers to structure the financing of their films with financiers and international distributors. Embankments latest film is Diana – scheduled for an international saturation release starting 20th September.  Embankment recently raised the financing for The Dressmaker – an A$17m wholly Australian film starring Kate Winslet and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse.

Tim Haslam, Founding partner of Embankment, is one of the UK’s most experienced sales executives pre-selling over 150 theatrical films and amalgamated libraries of over 800 titles. His 20 year career encompasses three highly successful companies: Hanway (CEO), Intermedia (founding shareholder) and Majestic (Sales Director).

Hugo Grumbar, Partner and shareholder of Embankment, is a highly experienced in film distribution and marketing.  Before joining Embankment Grumbar was Managing Director of Mel Gibson’s Icon Distribution UK.

Rialto Distribution

Rialto Distribution specializes in theatrical film distribution and home entertainment. Rialto holds the rights to an extensive catalogue of award winning feature films and audience favourites and is dedicated to acquiring, and successfully distributing the work of respected filmmakers in Australasia and bringing quality independent, art-house, foreign language and documentary titles to discerning audiences.

Kelly Rogers, Rialto’s CEO and Co-Owner has more than twenty years’ experience as an Australian/New Zealand distributor.  He founded the Rialto Group with David Ross in 1995, which includes Rialto Distribution and the Rialto Channel.  He is also a founding investor and former CEO of the Rialto Cinemas in New Zealand, which at its peak had 26 screens nationwide.  Kelly is a co-owner of three highly successful cinemas in Northcote, Howick and Tauranga.

Cliff Curtis – Actor/ Producer

Cliff is one of New Zealand’s best known actors, alternating between big budget Hollywood films (Three Kings, Training Day and Blow) and smaller scale New Zealand films (Once Were Warriors, and Whale Rider).  He’s also a successful producer, having produced Taika Waititi’s first two features Eagle vs Shark and Boy.

Ainsley GardinerProducer – Whenua Films

Ainsley has produced shorts, feature films, TV series and commercials. After working on three award-winning shorts with Taika Waititi, she has gone on to co-produce Waititi's first two features, Eagle vs Shark and breakout hit Boy.

Trevor Haysom – Producer – T.H.E Film

Trevor has collaborated with an impressive slate of emerging filmmakers, launching their careers, including Gregor Nicholas (Rushes, User Friendly), the late Brad McGann (Possum, In My Father's Den) and Simone Horrocks (After the Waterfall). His other producing credits include Alison MacLean’s Crush, Leon Narbey’s Footstep Man, Bro’Town and Tracker

Thomas Robins Writer/Director/Producer – KHF Media

Starting as an actor Thomas has become an experienced television drama, comedy and commercials director.  Through KHF Media he has directed and produced television drama and is the co-creator and co-director of the International Emmy award-winning Reservoir Hill.

David StubbsWriter/Director/Producer – KHF Media

David is an experienced TVC director and producer as well as a director of music videos and short films.  Through KHF Media he has directed and produced television drama and is the co-creator and co-director of the International Emmy award winning Reservoir Hill.

Taika Waititi Writer/Director/Producer and Chelsea WinstanleyProducer – Defender Films

Taika’s films have earned an international following.  His much-lauded short film, Two Cars, One Night, was Oscar-nominated in 2005. His debut feature Eagle vs Shark showcased his trademark deadpan humour and startling visuals. Second feature Boy won top prize in its section at the Berlin, and is the most successful Kiwi film released in New Zealand. 

Chelsea is his producing partner, currently in production on Shadows and a successful documentary and award-winning short film producer, her shorts include the acclaimed Nightshift, Meathead and Ebony Society which have all screened at the world’s major festivals (Cannes, Berlin and Sundance) .

David WhiteDirector/Producer –White Balance Pictures

As well as producing the independent features film The Last Great Snail Chase and the feature documentary, Shihad: Beautiful Machine David has recently won acclaim as a director for his short documentaries I Kill, Lex and The Cleanest Pig. He is also involved in creating, developing and producing TV shows, web content and adverts and was recently accepted on the UK National Film School’s inaugural EPCRI course. 

Last updated: 
Monday, 12 August 2013