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International visits get results for Wellington

20 November 2017

International visits get results for Wellington

The Wellington premiere of a Canberra film starring Hollywood actor Billy Zane is the direct result of the sister city relationship between the two capitals, says the film’s producer, Ché Baker.

Blue World Order, a martial arts and science fiction film set in a post-apocalyptic world, will premiere at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema tomorrow (Tuesday 21 November).

It was directed and produced entirely in Wellington’s Sister City of Canberra, but also has close ties with Wellington.

Wellington played a huge role in the creation of this film. Working in Wellington for a year on Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy gave me the opportunity to discuss at length how the film industry ecosystem had been created in Wellington and how a similar thing could be replicated in Canberra,” Baker says.

Local Wellingtonian actor Stephen Hunter is also one of the leads in the film.

The idea for hosting a premiere in Wellington came from a conversation Wellington Deputy Mayor Jill Day had with Mr Baker on her first official visit to Canberra in August as part of the ‘Wellington Week in Canberra’ delegation.

“We were talking about his film and the influence our film industry had on its creation and on Canberra’s growing film industry. I knew we’d be delighted to host a premiere of his film in Wellington, especially as it stars a Wellingtonian.”

The Deputy Mayor says the premiere is one example of how maintaining Sister City relationships can result in tangible opportunities for both cities.

“These relationships have been simply ceremonial in the past, but now we’re talking face-to-face with leaders in our partner cities we are getting real, mutually beneficial outcomes. This in turn will translate into more doors opening for Wellingtonians on a global stage.”

The premiere is part of a reciprocal business delegation visit to Wellington from Canberra officials, including ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. The Canberra Week in Wellington programme was meant to take place in 2017, but was cancelled because of the Kaikoura earthquake.

Last week, Mayor Justin Lester headed a delegation to Beijing, another of Wellington’s Sister Cities, which similarly generated benefits for the film industry. During that visit, Wellington-based animation studio Pukeko Pictures announced that the set of its preschool television show Kiddets will be part of a Chinese theme park.


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