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Film Funds for Auckland may Follow Oscars Success

For Immediate Release
Thursday 4 March 2004

Film Funds for Auckland may Follow Oscars Success

Hot on the tail of New Zealand's Oscars success, the Auckland screen production industry took a step closer this week, to receiving up to $2 million in funding through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's, Major Regional Initiatives (MRI) scheme.

The Auckland Screen Production MRI submission was approved by NZTE at 'Concept Stage' yesterday. Assessment and approval of a Business Case will occur in June, when funding will be announced.

"The achievement of this first MRI milestone couldn't have come at a better time for the industry", said Tash Christie, Executive Manager of Film Auckland. "New Zealand's film industry is celebrating huge international kudos with the success of films such as the LOTR trilogy and Whale Rider.

"Meanwhile, here in Auckland, US-based Walden Media are currently working on production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Auckland industry is already regularly involved in the production of tvcs [television commercials], movies of the week and tele-series for international production houses."

"The injection of MRI funds would enable the Auckland Industry to strengthen its local infrastructure and further develop the talent and skills of our professionals. Auckland's appeal would then broaden internationally and with that comes international interest and investment," Tash said.

ENDS

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