Screenwest to farewell CEO Ian Booth and opens the search for next strategic leader
Screenwest Chair Janelle Marr said Mr Booth had achieved much during his tenure and would be greatly missed, but agreed the timing for a December hand over is a good strategic move.
“During his time as CEO, Ian has given an immense commitment and contribution to Screenwest and the screen industry. He has guided the agency and the Western Australian screen industry through a period of significant achievement and growth,” she said.
“We see the timing of Ian’s departure as positive. By December Screenwest would have delivered on the structural transition to an independent organisation, and the timelines enable a smooth recruitment and hand over process to a new CEO.”
Ms Marr mentioned Screenwest’s move to a not for profit structure, with more independence from Government, provides the Board of Directors and CEO with new opportunities to connect and partner with the business community, Federal departments, not-for-profit, philanthropic organisations and industry sectors.
“The incoming CEO will be able to drive the next stage of growth and development for the agency for the benefit of the Western Australian screen industry and community.
“The process to secure a new Screenwest CEO – the first time under a non-government recruitment process – will involve a local, national and international search. The position will be advertised in coming weeks.
“When Ian started in the role, the total value of productions produced in Western Australia was less than $22 million. In 2016-17, West Australia achieved a record $69 million in production value.
“There has been strong development in the overall output of the West Australian television industry, in particular the factual sector, with landmark documentary series and singles achieving strong ratings and winning national and international awards and sales.
“In the features sector, West Australia was producing one feature film every three years; this has now grown to seven features per year and West Australian features are regularly being selected for the major film festivals of the world.
“Ian has undertaken extensive work in the development of opportunities with regional neighbours Singapore and China, and strengthened Western Australia’s ties with established markets in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.
“Future production opportunities will also arise from the introduction of the new $16 million Western Australian Regional Fund last year.
“Ian’s most recent achievement is to lead the transitioning of Screenwest from an incorporated association to a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Structural reform had been on Screenwest’s agenda for many years, and this change positions Screenwest strongly going forward.”
Mr Booth said it had been a very rewarding time leading the Screenwest team and working with the local and national screen industry and other partners.
“It was a difficult decision and not one I made lightly,” he said. “But I feel the time is right for myself personally and it’s also a good time for Screenwest with several, large-scale strategic projects recently coming to fruition.
“My short-term aim is to focus on my family before I take up the next stage of my career.
“I would like to thank the Screenwest Board members and staff I have worked with across the years. The achievements are not mine, but the whole teams.
“I would also like to say a special thanks to all my industry colleagues locally, nationally and internationally. It has been a pleasure to represent and champion the West Australian screen industry. We have a great pool of talented people and I look forward to seeing the industry continue to grow and local productions and creatives succeeding on the world stage.”