Simon De Bruyn Australia / NZ Executive

In January 1985, in a small community cinema in a quiet suburb to the east of Melbourne, a 6-year-old Simon de Bruyn sat enraptured in a screening of The Neverending Story, imagining himself doing everything from flying Falkor the Luck Dragon to eating sandwiches in the attic with Bastian. And when the wolf Gmork finally caught up with Atreyu, Simon ran terrified out of the cinema. Thirty-one years later, Simon is still channelling that 6-year-old boy; still enraptured by the movies, and still terrified by the scary ones.

In 2011, Simon joined XYZ Films to do professionally what he had previously done for fun, and since then his role has expanded into project development plus acquisitions for XYZ-GFC, the financing, production and sales joint venture that XYZ Films formed in 2015 with NZ production company, General Film Corporation.