Kiwi-American Producer returns to New Zealand
Kiwi-American Producer returns to New Zealand to support the next generation of filmmakersWendy Benge, a successful Los Angeles-based film Producer and Entertainment Attorney, has returned to New Zealand from Hollywood to develop initiatives that will benefit Kiwi filmmakers and bring jobs to New Zealanders.
Benge, as a Producer, is currently finishing post-production on her psychological thriller “Broken Vows”, starring Wes Bently (“Interstellar”, “The Hunger Games”, “American Beauty”), Jamie Alexander (“Thor”, “Thor: The Dark World”), and Cam Gigandet (“Twilight”). Bentley is currently in New Zealand working on “Pete’s Dragon”, alongside Karl Urban.
While in Wellington, Benge will be working in collaboration with Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec). Alongside American Sharon Roggio (TV’s “House of Cards”, “Whip It”, “Red Dawn”), she will be sharing her experience and expertise with WelTec’s Bachelor of Creative Technologies students, as well as leading a Working as a Producer in Hollywood presentation to students, filmmakers and the public on Monday 22 June - 12pm at WelTec CBD Campus (11-17 Church Street).
Benge will be producing Kiwi Director Alex Galvin’s upcoming thriller; to be shot in New Zealand in collaboration with WelTec, with the aim of gaining international cinematic release - something Benge is known for. Galvin’s film will be the first of many films WelTec aims to collaborate on - supporting filmmakers, providing invaluable filmmaking experience for students and creating jobs for Kiwis.
Benge recently launched her New Zealand production company Bullet Entertainment, with offices based in Wellington and Hollywood. Benge is actively looking to develop several New Zealand films over the next few years.
“New Zealand still has my heart and I’ve been looking for the right opportunity to share what I’ve learned in the US with our next generation of Kiwi filmmakers”, explains Benge. "When I heard about the new Screen Advisory Board’s plan to help the New Zealand film industry create the skills and connections needed to generate their own intellectual property, to compete internationally and attract overseas finance to New Zealand, I knew the time was right to come back and do my part. This is just the beginning.”
After obtaining her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) at Canterbury University, Benge has forged a thriving career in Hollywood. In the past two years, she has worked on such films “Life of Crime” starring Jennifer Aniston, Isla Fisher, and Will Forte, which had its World Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF), and “Life after Beth” starring Anna Kendrick, Aubry Plaza, Dane DeHaan and John C. Reilly, which had its World Premiere at Sundance. Prior to this, Benge worked on Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” (Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey), Oliver Stone’s “W” (Josh Brolin), Rian Johnson’s “The Brothers Bloom” (Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody), along with several other films starring Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore, Michael Douglas, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
In addition to being a film Producer, Benge continues to represent various corporate and entertainment industry clients. Such legal representation includes studio productions, independent films, scripted and unscripted television (such as “Stewarts & Hamiltons”), along with personal representation of prominent figures, including notable Kiwi and US talent.
Benge also has an altruistic side. She aided several young artists, with very little means, to not only get their stories told in the documentary “Walk On” but also aided them in obtaining financing in a pro bono effort. As an author she is also presently furthering this goal by writing a book that will aid such individuals in not only establishing their dreams but to do it in an honourable fashion.