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New Zealand a world-class film making destination

Tue, 19 Oct 2004

New Zealand a world-class film making destination

Business and cultural relations between India and New Zealand will continue to grow strongly, said the Prime Minister Helen Clark during a visit to Mumbai.

Helen Clark is visiting India on a four day tour aimed at strengthening business and cultural ties between the two nations and highlighting New Zealand's attractiveness as a film making destination.

Over 100 Bollywood productions have been filmed in New Zealand since 1995. An estimated 18,000 Indian tourists visit New Zealand each year with 2,500 Indian students studying in the country.

New Zealand is an international film-making destination, with significant Hollywood films shot there, the most famous being New Zealander Peter Jackson's Academy Award winning The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Current film productions underway in New Zealand include The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe and King Kong.

"New Zealand is a nation of new ideas and new thinking. New Zealanders are independent, creative, innovative and quick to embrace new technologies. These qualities are evident in the success of New Zealand films, which have won international accolades far in excess of what one could expect of a country of four million people," said Helen Clark.

"In many areas - from film, to software development and biotechnology - New Zealand businesses are exceeding international benchmarks." Helen Clark said that as well as being home to a superb line-up of technology companies and a dynamic local film industry, New Zealand also offers a host of natural advantages which position it as a first choice for overseas film, television and commercial productions.

"This includes an unspoiled, diverse and easily accessible landscape, a temperate climate, and high sunshine hours. New Zealand is quite possibly the only place in the world where filmmakers will find sub-tropical rainforests, snowy alps, lush green farmland, sandy beaches, craggy coastlines, high country sheep and cattle stations, citrus groves and the steel and urban landscapes within a relatively short distance of each other."

A number of New Zealand-born actors are also household names around the world - Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), Anna Paquin (The Piano, X-Men), Lucy Lawless (Xena), and Russell Crowe (Gladiator). Not to mention New Zealand soap star, Martin Henderson who features alongside Bollywood's Aishwarya Rai in the movie Bride and Prejudice.

ENDS

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