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Avatar deal potential gold for Wellington

16 December 2013

Avatar deal potential gold for Wellington

Making the next three Avatar movies in New Zealand will be a fantastic boost for the film industry, the economy, and most likely for Wellington, says Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley.

“The memorandum of understanding signed by the Government, Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation is the best news the industry, much of which is based in Wellington, has had since The Hobbit production finished.

“A $500 million boost, the jobs that would be created, and commitments for direct input by the studios into our film industry make this a real deal.

“Though further details are still to come, the fact that the first Avatar movie was made in Miramar by Weta Digital, and that Director James Cameron lives just over the hill in Wairarapa, you would have to think there’s a fair chance the next three in the series would be made here, too.

“And hopefully that will also mean we will get the one world premiere for New Zealand that is part of this.

“Wellington is also pretty good at doing this sort of stuff, so here’s hoping. That would be a further boost for our film capital.”

Raewyn Bleakley said the Government was also to be congratulated on having the foresight to boost production incentives for such movies to be made in New Zealand.

“We are pleased with this strategic investment being made in our local New Zealand film industry.

“You would have to imagine that move would have played a big part in the decision to make the Avatar movies here.

“There will always be critics and detractors of this type of encouragement from Government.

“Given the competitive international environment, we have to be prepared to do something extra to attract and retain such projects to our shores, especially those with local connections.

“This is a sound decision, with significant ongoing opportunities for economic growth beyond just the film industry and just what Wellington needs right now.”

ENDS

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