The Film Commission has reacted to a highly critical report by Sir Peter Jackson with an assurance that it has changed its ways.

Sir Peter's analysis, issued yesterday, criticised the commission's effectiveness as a vital backer of homegrown movie-making talent.

During its 31-year lifetime, the commission has nurtured many fledgling film-makers, including Sir Peter himself, helping them to realise their artistic vision in what is a tough competitive business.

But in his report, Sir Peter - who has also had some messy disagreements with the commission - tapped into a vein of bitterness among film-makers about the commission's structure, culture and effectiveness.

Submissions he and the report's co-author, David Court, received last year described an aloof organisation with an adversarial "us and them" attitude and even contempt for film-makers.

The pair, who said they "unreservedly" believed the commission was necessary, recommended it focus more on supporting film-making talent in the form of writers and directors rather than producers.

They also said it should fund fewer projects to provide more support to those that were likely to succeed, although they believed the emphasis should be on artistic merit rather than commercial potential.

Sir Peter and Mr Court also called for it to be restructured to allow its staff to be the key decision makers on funding and creative issues while its board, which had been overly involved, concentrated on governance and high level strategy.

Commission CEO Graeme Mason yesterday acknowledged that much of the report was "unpleasant or uncomfortable reading".

He said that, as it noted, there had been no mechanism for film-makers to express dissatisfaction with the commission until the review. They had clearly seized the opportunity.

"We need to allow that communication to happen without building up," he accepted. But he also said the criticisms were mostly "historical".

The submissions were gathered a year ago and many of the grievances they expressed looked back further than that.

Mr Mason said he didn't wish to appear to be ducking for cover, but he had been with the commission only since April last year and chairwoman Patsy Reddy and most of her board had been there only since last July.

"So a lot of things we came in and saw and have actually changed.

"I would sincerely hope that if you took the temperature today it would be different." Mr Mason said he believed Sir Peter and Mr Court would support that view.

However, with the commission turning down far more applications for support than it approved, it was inevitable some applicants would be disaffected.

Should the commission adopt the recommendation to concentrate on fewer projects, it would inevitably disappoint more applicants, he said.

The review was prepared for Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson, who yesterday supported Mr Mason's contention that positive changes had already been made.

The minister said feedback he had received expressed concerns that the report wasn't seen as an indictment of Mr Mason and the board, "because the common consensus is they're doing a good job".

He too believed the commission was working towards the model Sir Peter and Mr Court suggested.

"In effect that sort of thing is happening now," Mr Finlayson said.

"You've got staff making particular artistic or film decisions and the commission itself is ratifying those decisions rather than making them."