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New Zealand Screen Production Grant advisory service

Media release: Grant Thornton and Libertine Pictures to offer New Zealand Screen Production Grant advisory service

16 May, 2014

Business consultants Grant Thornton and production company Libertine Pictures have launched an advisory service for producers seeking to access New Zealand’s new film and television production grants.

The service will be provided by Grant Thornton and Libertine Pictures in association with screen sector consultancy Tim Thorpe Consulting and Emery Legal, and will offer assistance to production companies seeking the new 20 and 25% screen production grant for international film and television productions and the 40% grant for New Zealand film and television productions and official co--productions.

The New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) was introduced by the New Zealand Government on 1 April 2014.

While all international productions that meet the base eligibility criteria will be able to access a grant equivalent to 20% of Qualifying NZ Production Expenditure (QNZPE), some productions may be entitled to an additional 5% if they can demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand.

New Zealand productions that meet the ‘Significant New Zealand Content Test’ or official co-- productions are able to access a grant equivalent to 40% of QNZPE.

Libertine Pictures Joint Managing Director Richard Fletcher said “The advisory service has been set up to assist productions to meet the more nuanced and demanding economic development points test criteria that trigger the additional 5% for international productions”.

The service aims to give advice on legacy physical infrastructure projects, and facilitate engagement and collaboration with educational institutions, gaming and interactive companies, non--screen sector high tech companies, and other such relationships and knowledge transfer from which the required economic benefits may flow.

”For international production companies seeking to access the 40% grant the advisory service can help structure their productions to meet the ‘Significant New Zealand Content Test’ or qualify as an official NZ co--production.

We are experienced producers and can also act as a ‘full service’ production company or as co--producers on productions.

We can, if required, also assist in facilitating financing of the NZSPG in advance of production,” said Fletcher.

Grant Thornton Partner Greg Thompson added: “In addition the advisory service is able to offer advice on how best to maximise potential QNZPE, manage New Zealand tax requirements, provide specialised production legal and accounting advice and assist with submission of provisional and final NZSPG applications."

END

About Grant Thornton Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms.

We help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing specialist services, business advice and growth solutions.

Grant Thornton New Zealand operates from three locations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with 33 partners and more than 250 professional and management services staff.

Grant Thornton is an approved firm to provide Cost of Production audits to meet the requirements for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.

For more information visit: http://www.grantthornton.co.nz/

About Libertine Pictures Libertine Pictures was formed in 2013 to bring together exceptional creative talent to make film and television that excites audiences around the world.

Along with the experience of its founders, producers Richard Fletcher and Paul Davis and writer Neil Cross, the company is distinguished by its partnerships with practitioners across the industry.

This brings their expertise together with the talents of leading filmmakers and distribution and sales professionals here and overseas.

Joint Managing director Richard Fletcher is a film executive with considerable production, film--financing and co--production experience on films including Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, Boy, Under the Mountain, In My Father's Den and River Queen.

He is a former Head of Business Affairs at the NZ Film Commission and is currently co--president of the New Zealand Producer’s Association SPADA.

Joint Managing Director Paul Davis has been involved in international film sales and marketing since 1984, including working for Majestic Films and Television and Intermedia.

He is an experienced film marketer and producer, with credits including Sione’s Wedding, The Tattooist, We’re Here to Help, My Wedding and Other Secrets, Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business and The Last Ocean.

Creative Director Neil Cross is an internationally--acclaimed screenwriter and novelist, whose work includes the multi--award--winning BBC crime thriller Luther, starring Idris Elba, the international hit film Mama, and the BBC spy drama Spooks.

Neil is based in New Zealand and writes for the screen in both Britain and the United States.

For more information visit: http://www.libertinepictures.com/about

About Tim Thorpe Consulting Tim Thorpe Consulting is operated by its Director Tim Thorpe.

Initially Tim worked in the forestry sector doing research, analysis, strategic planning and working on environmental issues.

Later, Tim worked for the New Zealand government on screen related matters.

This included developing the policy and criteria for the Large Budget Screen Production Grant and working alongside the Screen Production Industry Taskforce.

In 2004 Tim was appointed the Executive Director of the industry--led New Zealand Screen Council.

He worked in a range of areas to grow the industry such as intellectual property, tax, education and training as well as business and market development.

In 2008 Tim established Tim Thorpe Consulting.

Since that time Tim has worked on a range of projects in the screen industry, including the NZ Screen Production Grant, offering strategic, analytical, policy and advisory services.

He is the Executive Producer of two video games – Indie Music Manager and Safehouse.

For more information visit: http://www.thorpeconsulting.co.nz/

About Emery Legal Headed by Matt Emery, Emery Legal is a boutique practice providing specialist and tailored legal services to the screen industry since 2002.

Matt specialises in advising producers on all aspects associated with film and television productions and financing.

He has extensive experience in structuring and/or contracting complex financing arrangements and international co--productions.

With numerous film and television production credits to his name, Matt also acts for a number of New Zealand’s leading film and television production companies.

For more information visit: http://emerylegal.co.nz/

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