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'Bollywood' Boom Potential For NZ

Foreign Minister Phil Goff sees great potential for New Zealand in the 'Bollywood' bonanza of Indian film making.

During his visit to India, Mr Goff has welcomed the growing interest of Indian film makers to shoot their movies in New Zealand.

"New Zealand is emerging as the new backdrop for many Indian films as producers become aware of the scenic beauty and diversity that our country has to offer.

"India's biggest blockbuster last year, called 'Say You Love Me' was filmed in New Zealand and this country was the launching pad for India's hottest new film star," Mr Goff said.

Inaugurating a New Zealand Tourism Board promotion in New Delhi, the Minister noted that numerous Indian films, television programmes and advertisements had been shot in New Zealand in the last two years, pumping around $5 million into the local economy.

There has already been a spin-off effect on Indian tourism to New Zealand. Seeing scenic backdrops on film and television helped prompt more than 8000 high-spending Indian tourists to visit in 2000, up 25% on the previous year. Numbers are expected to exceed 10,000 during 2001.

"India has the largest film industry in the world, producing 800 movies a year. We need to raise the profile of New Zealand as a destination for Indian film producers as part of our efforts to promote our country internationally as an exciting, cost-effective locale for film and television," said Mr Goff.

The Minister met with Bollywood film makers in Bombay earlier this week to discuss ways of encouraging more film crews to come to New Zealand.

"We're now averaging 30 crews a year from India but we should be aiming for 100," Mr Goff said.


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