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New Zealand films a huge hit in China


Asia 2000 Foundation of New Zealand
Media Release 18 July 2002

New Zealand films a huge hit in China

Almost 200,000 Chinese viewed five New Zealand films at the first ever New Zealand Film Festival held in China in June and early July.

The films, Price of Milk, Scarfies, Magik and Rose, Jubilee and Once Were Warriors, screened in three cities, Shanghai, Beijing and Hongzhou.

An estimated 50,000 people saw the films in Shanghai, which were screened as part of the 2002 Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). Some 50,000 attended screenings in Beijing and 80,000 in Hongzhou.

Official opening ceremonies in each city resulted in intense media interest and news of the Festival was broadcast nation-wide to approximately 1 billion viewers.

According to Jim He, the New Zealand Film Festival organiser, "The Festival was a huge success. Chinese audiences were overwhelmed by the movies. We had tremendous response from media, audiences and Chinese government officials. More Chinese students now want to study in New Zealand, more business people want to travel in New Zealand and do business with New Zealand. They all said they did not realise New Zealand was such a beautiful country."

Quotes from Chinese media support Mr He's comments. The Beijing Evening Post said, "The New Zealand Film Festival has brought New Zealand to China."

The Zhejiang News Daily said, "New Zealand films are as beautiful as its landscape."

Jim He, chairman of the Pacific Culture & Arts Exchange Centre in Auckland, put forward the idea of exhibiting New Zealand movies in China after successfully completing two Asia 2000-assisted Chinese Film Festivals in New Zealand. Asia 2000 then joined with SIFF and the New Zealand Film Commission in supporting this two-week festival in China.

For more information please contact Deborah Walker, 04 470 8706 or 025 247 9905 or email dwalker@asia2000.org.nz. (A full list of Asia 2000 media releases is on www.asia2000.org.nz/about/press.shtml)

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