Departure of filmmakers’ champion Esther Cahill-Chiaroni

Script to Screen Executive Director Esther Cahill-Chiaroni will step down from the role at the beginning of next year after eight years leading the organisation.

Script to Screen Chair Cass Avery said the Board of Trustees has reluctantly accepted Esther’s resignation, “Esther has been the driving force of Script To Screen and has built the organisation into a hugely valuable part of the screen industry in Aotearoa. We are thrilled that she will continue to work with us next year running some of the programmes that she has been instrumental in creating but we understand that after achieving so much in the role it’s time for her to pass on the torch”.

Esther Cahill-Chiaroni has led the organisation through significant growth. She co-created and has helmed Big Screen Symposium since 2012, now well established as NZ’s premium annual screen industry event. In 2013 Script to Screen’s FilmUp Programme was launched, the first of a number of comprehensive filmmaker talent development programmes designed and led by Esther that include Story Camp Aotearoa, South Shorts Mentorship Programme and this year for the first time, Episodic Lab Aotearoa.

With a growing alumni of well over 100 filmmakers, Esther has been instrumental in supporting NZ’s most exciting emerging talent and championing voices underrepresented in our screen storytelling. Esther’s contribution to the film sector’s development has been immense and stands as one of her biggest achievements with Script to Screen. She has fostered and invested in the talent of a huge number of emerging creative forces within New Zealand including: Dustin Feneley, Vea Mafile’o, Jeremiah Tauamiti, Sophie Henderson, Chris Pryor and Miriam Smith, Yamin Tun, Alyx Duncan, Nic Gorman, Michelle Savill, Jake Mahaffy, Desray Armstrong, Gaysorn Thavat, Julia Parnell, Florian Habicht, Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Louise Tu’u, Josephine Stewart Te-Whiu, Rochelle Bright, Jess Feast, Max Currie, Chantelle Burgoyne, Asuka Sylvie, Armagan Ballantyne, Abigail Greenwood and Awanui Simich-Pene.

After eight years of growing the organisation, bringing the New Zealand film community together and developing our brightest filmmaking talent, Esther bids us farewell in February 2019 leaving Script to Screen in great shape to take on the future.
Esther said, “I believe Script to Screen is a unique organisation; it is certainly one incredibly close to my heart. I have loved my time here working closely with the filmmakers of Aotearoa NZ. I’d like to thank the community, alongside the wonderful team at Script to Screen for making the work a pleasure. For me, it is time for a change and I am confident the organisation will continue to prosper with a strong board and staff and with support and love from a truly terrific creative community”.

The board are grateful that Esther provided them six months’ notice to enable time for a robust recruitment and selection process. Applications for the role of Script To Screen Executive Director are open from September 24th 2018 until October 22nd 2018. Information regarding the application process can be found here.



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