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Economic Benefits From Int'l Film Productions

17 October 2008

Media release from Film New Zealand

Economic Benefits From International Film Productions

Substantial benefits for the New Zealand economy from large-budget international feature films shooting in New Zealand are detailed in the 2008 Annual Report of Film New Zealand, released today.

The Report states that $915 million has been spent by 13 international feature film and television drama productions attracted to this country by the government's Large Budget Screen Production incentive since it was established in 2003. The benefits have included:

* Employment for 7,754 New Zealand crew representing 92% of the total 8,338 crew members involved in these productions; and

* Employment for 1,107 New Zealand actors representing 86% of the total 1,280 cast positions (though the total may include some extras).

Film New Zealand, using figures from exit surveys completed by the 13 productions, states that 54 per cent of the benefits were recorded in the Wellington region, 36 per cent in Auckland, six per cent in the South Island and about one per cent spread through the central North Island. The Report points out that expenditures made by production activity flow widely into the community through services employed such as accommodation, food and beverage, construction materials, office equipment rentals and transport.

Among the key benefits from shooting in New Zealand identified by productions completing the exit surveys are: the availability of highly skilled screen production industry professionals (both crew and cast); New Zealand's sophisticated production and post-production infrastructure; and positive financial considerations including the Kiwi dollar exchange rate, the Large Budget Screen Production grant incentive, absence of fringe costs for labour and competitive production costs.

New Zealand's reputation for personal safety and security was also named in the survey results. Respondents acknowledged New Zealand's "film-friendliness" demonstrated by a high degree of co-operation from industry professionals, local councils and communities.

Film New Zealand's Annual Report identifies eight international productions have been shooting in New Zealand during the financial year which ended on June 30.

"We are confident that the experience of these productions will further enhance New Zealand's reputation and their positive experiences will be reflected in next year's exit survey results," said Film New Zealand CEO Judith McCann.

Film New Zealand is New Zealand's national film locations office. Established in 1994 by the screen production film industry, it is an independent charitable trust, led by the Board of Trustees representing the industry and key stakeholders including the regional film offices.

Film New Zealand is supported by the Government through the Ministry of Economic Development with additional support from the New Zealand Film Commission and project funding from Investment New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Film New Zealand also receives significant 'in kind' contributions from the industry through advice and other professional assistance.

ENDS

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