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Film New Zealand Targets Japan For Future Growth

Film New Zealand is expanding its contacts in Japan, as a result of a promotional mission which it has carried out in Tokyo.

"Our aim is to encourage Japanese companies to do more in New Zealand than only use us for location shooting," said Film New Zealand board member Nigel Hutchinson, who has just returned from briefing film industry leaders in Tokyo.

"Our briefing told them how New Zealand offers world-class production and post-production facilities and talent, which can add value to any projects which they are planning to bring to this country."

Film New Zealand co-hosted the Tokyo briefing to coincide with the Japanese premiere of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, in association with the New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, Phillip Gibson, and the Trade Commissioner, Andrew White. Two hundred guests came to the NZ Embassy to view promotional material showing what the New Zealand film industry is achieving - including highlights from recent NZ features, a selection of TV commercials filmed and post-produced in New Zealand, and a tape highlighting locations in the Wellington Regional Council's area.

As a further example of the diversity of New Zealand's creative industries, guests saw samples of the miniatures from THE LORD OF THE RINGS, made by Weta Workshop in Wellington.

As well as film directors and producers, guests at the briefing in Tokyo included Japanese advertising agencies, tour operators, and business people. Each guest received a Japanese-language information package on the New Zealand film industry, including Film New Zealand's popular map showing all locations where THE LORD OF THE RINGS was shot, as well as location details from a selection of other New Zealand movies made in the eighties and nineties.

"One Japanese film company had used New Zealand locations, but had not previously considered post-production here," said Nigel Hutchinson. "We were able to tell them of the range of world-class talent and facilities which they will consider next time.

"Till now, much Japanese post-production has been carried out either in California or in Australia. But THE LORD OF THE RINGS offered us an opportunity to focus the attention of Japanese film-makers on competitive opportunities in New Zealand. They will now think of us not only a beautiful and spectacular location, but also as a centre of excellence in post-production."

Film New Zealand is a non-profit organisation supported by Industry New Zealand, Trade New Zealand, and the New Zealand Film Commission. Its mission is to generate foreign exchange and foreign investment in New Zealand's creative businesses and supporting infrastructure, and to support regional development by promoting location shooting.

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