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Screen production package of economic benefit

10 November 2003 Media Statement

Screen production package of economic and cultural benefit

The screen production sector’s cultural and economic roles are recognised in the package of initiatives announced today by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark, and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton.

The initiatives, which include a $10 million annual funding boost for the NZ Film Commission, a review of the sector’s funding agencies and the establishment of an industry led Screen Council, are the government’s response to the Screen Production Taskforce.

Helen Clark said that the screen production industry has considerable growth potential and spill over effects for New Zealand. “Film and television are powerful media. The way in which they project and brand New Zealand has considerable value beyond the earnings generated by the companies in the industry.

“For example, Lord of the Rings not only brought significant offshore investment to New Zealand and created new jobs and opportunity, but also had tremendous promotional value for tourism and the wider economy. On a smaller scale, Whale Rider’s success is also very positive for New Zealand overall,” Helen Clark said.

Jim Anderton said that the Screen Production Taskforce was one of four industry taskforces established in May 2002 and charged with examining how the industry could contribute to the growth of the economy.

The industry taskforce set an industry target of achieving foreign exchange earnings of $400 million a year within five years. Its recommendations were intended to establish a climate in which at least 10 companies could achieve an annual turnover of $50 million each and at least another 20 achieve annual turnovers of $10 million.

“These are ambitious and visionary industry targets, and suggest that the sector is determined to grow as an economic as well as a cultural force,” Jim Anderton said.
“I applaud the industry’s determination and I want to congratulate the taskforce and its chair Julie Christie for sharing the government’s vision of a successful, vibrant New Zealand, and the value of working together towards that.”

Jim Anderton said the package would provide a solid base for the sector’s growth.

"Making sure tertiary courses are in line with the industry’s need, building a base for networking and information sharing, attracting international film makers – these all combine to build a platform for continuing creative excellence and economic success.

“A strong screen production sector helps strengthen our sense of national identity, our sense of ourselves as New Zealanders and internationally helps differentiate New Zealand, its people and its products by promoting our very special New Zealand brand,” Jim Anderton said.

ENDS


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