How the Aotearoa/New Zealand Film Heritage Trust Works

Te Āhua o ngā Mahi a Te Puna Ataata



Caring for Trust Titles

Te Tiaki i ngā Kiriata Puna


The Film Heritage Trust will ensure that films under its care:

  • continue to be available for future generations to enjoy
  • have their materials preserved
  • are accessible
  • have materials created in digital formats


As the Trust will not physically store archival materials for titles in our care, we acknowledge the role of Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision as a key custodian, and will work closely and cooperatively with them. The Trust may also hold the necessary rights to enable access to these archival materials and for the Trust to bring the films into modern formats, as these evolve over time.

The Trust also works closely with, and has received funding from, the New Zealand Film Commission.

The Trust is particularly focused on caring for feature films, but where a filmmaker has a body of work that includes other formats that they wish to assign to the Trust, we will happily care for those also.


Managing Trust Titles

Te Whakahaere i ngā Kiriata Puna


Filmmakers can appoint the Trust as the guardian and decision-maker for their films, either through assigning their film rights to the Trust or by appointing the Trust as the manager of their film. To this end, we have two standard agreements; an Assignment of Film Rights Agreement, and a Film Rights Management Agreement.

In general, an assignment agreement gives outright ownership of rights to the Trust, and a management agreement gives the Trust the ability to manage films on behalf of the owners, where film owners don’t wish to transfer full or partial ownership of their films to the Trust.

As part of filmmakers’ desire to preserve and contribute to their legacy and to the legacy of New Zealand films generally, some may wish to direct income generated from their films to the Trust. This income will be used in the preservation of those and other films, and towards educational opportunities for New Zealanders to access and learn from Trust films. The Trust aims to enable access to Trust titles to those who seek it, whilst exercising the right to generate income where appropriate.

Currently, the New Zealand Film Commission handle sales and distribution rights of many Trust titles, and the collection and distribution of income under the Te Ahi Kā framework. Licencing of clips, and one-off screenings of Trust titles will be negotiated and approved by the Trust on a case-by-case basis, with the aim of maximising their continued exposure and appreciation.

If you are interested in placing your film into the care of the Trust, please get in touch.

© Copyright New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata