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Wellington film production figures on the rise

Wellington film production figures on the rise

Recently released NZ screen production figures from Colmar Brunton show production budgets in the Wellington region have almost tripled since 1999, with Wellington sitting only marginally behind Auckland on $144,328,964 up from $121,158,765 in 2002.

“ 2003 was a busy year for the region, partly because of the attention generated by the Lord of the Rings but also because Wellington is recognised as being a very film Friendly city,” says Film Wellington Manager Jean Johnston of Positively Wellington Business.

In a bid to capitalise on increased interest in New Zealand locations and production facilities Film Wellington is now working closely with Film South representatives in order to introduce joint marketing initiatives to target offshore markets.

“Working with Film South has enabled us to leverage our resources and to promote the joint capabilities of the two regions. We want to show the world that New Zealand has more to offer than just locations, that we have a unique talent pool of creative people and world class facilities,” says Ms Johnston.

Major projects in the past six months have included the filming of Paramount comedy ‘Without a Paddle’, a major fashion shoot for New York magazine ‘Weddings’, several major car commercials and a 14-week shoot for a television drama, says Ms Johnston.

Test shots are underway for ‘King Kong’ and much of the behind the scenes and production work for ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ will also be conducted here in Wellington.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the results are great for Wellington and reflect the growing impact that the Creative Wellington - Innovation Capital strategy is having on the economic fortunes of New Zealand.

"The film industry plays such an important part in our Creative Wellington - Innovation Capital strategy. It makes a valuable contribution to this strategy and to our city and I know it will continue to do so," Further news in the film arena includes a recent bid by Film Wellington, in conjunction with Positively Wellington Tourism, to host the 2005 Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) conference.

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