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Film NZ builds collaboration with regions

10 August 2006

Film New Zealand builds collaboration with Regional Film Offices

Film New Zealand and the network of regional film offices have made a commitment to build on their collaborative partnerships to deliver enhanced services to domestic and international filmmakers.

The commitment was made at the organisations’ third annual Forum, a three-day meeting which planned strategic directions for the coming year.

The Forum was hosted in Wellington by Film New Zealand, the national film office; it brought together senior executives from Film Dunedin, Film Queenstown and Film South representing the South Island and Film Wellington, Film Venture Taranaki, Film Volcanic, Film Auckland and Film Northland covering the North Island.

“With Rotorua-based Film Volcanic as our newest regional partner, the film office network is now being actively promoted as a collaborative service network for local as well as overseas clients,” said Judith McCann, chief executive officer of Film New Zealand.

“The emerging strength is the film office network with its local knowledge of screen industry infrastructure and capability,” commented South Island-based line producer and Film New Zealand Board member Trishia Downie.

“These regional offices have built up resources, local knowledge and services that make the work of producers faster and more efficient – for example, one phone call to Lee Harris at Film Queenstown for an up-to-date crew list now saves me making dozens of calls.”

The regional film offices and Film New Zealand all reported an increase in inquiries over the past 12 months, including from New Zealand producers, involving feature films, television drama, commercials and documentaries.

“We’ve collaborated on a range of activities including location recces involving overseas producers, ‘film friendly’ presentations to Local Government, and the recently-launched Code of Practice for Filming on Public Conservation Lands,” said Judith McCann.

Other joint initiatives included consolidating regional marketing material with national information in a ‘New Zealand’ promotional package for international markets; sharing Film New Zealand’s website content to ensure consistency of information throughout the network; and building a statistical database that tracks filming activity by region.

Focus over the next six months will aim at increasing domestic industry awareness about the range of different services available through each regional office.

One area in which services can differ is the practical side of filming: closures and permits.

Film Wellington’s Jean Johnston noted that its key services included arranging road closures and filming permits.

By contrast, Tash Christie from Film Auckland pointed out that it does not issue permits directly but works with the network of film-friendly local authorities to ensure service and delivery.

Other regional offices have a more flexible arrangement with few or no permit requirements.

Based on the growth in inquiries and the interest generated by several recent location recces, production prospects for 2006 remain strong.


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