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Anderton: Meet me in Miami premiere

Anderton: Meet me in Miami premiere

New Zealanders have a strong interest in movies – I can certainly put my hand up as being a regular movie-goer. Carole and I usually go every Friday night and we were at this cinema recently where three of the films showing were New Zealand films. In movie speak that's about as good as it gets knowing that films, made here or jointly made here, are in theatres around the world – at the same time.

New Zealanders are 'discovering themselves' in films, in the arts and in books and we can all celebrate this as we take steps forward which make us a more confident and outward looking nation of people, ready to take on the world and achieve success.

It seems that not only are we interested in what makes ourselves tick as a nation, but other people are interested in us as well judging from the international reception and response to Whale Rider, In My Father's Den and recently No. 2 gaining us a reputation for presenting New Zealand's unique identity in a special way.

Our relative physical isolation and 'number 8 wire' creativity has meant we have developed as a resilient and innovative people who work in all countries around the globe in the creative sector, sometimes even disguised as Australians! Now they can proudly reclaim their New Zealand identity!

The contribution of filmmaking to our growing national identity has been recognised by the Labour-Progressive coalition Government with a significant boost to the funding of the arts, in general, and film, in particular. This has meant the creation of an environment where on one side we have global blockbusters like Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Narnia made in New Zealand alongside small but unique productions, which go on to win accolades at international film festivals.

Film-making provides a boost not only in national and regional economic development terms but provides skills enhancement; and artistic, technical and professional development for those engaged in the film industry.

There has been a transformation of the film industry in New Zealand. We are all aware of our recent successes and I hope Meet me in Miami will build on

The making of a feature film Meet me in Miami has provided a wonderful opportunity to use the creative potential we are developing for film making in Christchurch – both for the city as a film location and as a wonderful place to visit.

I am sure businesses in Christchurch will agree, as they have in New Plymouth with the Last of the Samurai, in Wellington with Peter Jackson's film empire, and in West Auckland with their infrastructure supporting the Piano and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe what a worthwhile industry film-making is.

At a broader level, films that promote New Zealand support cultural tourism.

It is good to see a film made by an American-based New Zealander premiered and celebrated here. I believe Meet me in Miami has already attracted the interest of Warner Bros and has met with acclaim at the Los Angeles Latino International film Festival.

I am sure Meet me in Miami will meet with the same enthusiastic reception in Christchurch and the rest of New Zealand.

It sounds very much like a film that has been made with heart, with limitless inventiveness, with a huge sense of adventure and willingness to just leap in and do it, not to mention persistence and sheer hard work.

Congratulations to all the production, cast and crew who have put so much of their energy and expertise into Meet me in Miami. Hearty congratulations to Lisa Abbott for all the creativity she has shown which has culminated in this premiere of her first film in Christchurch. Well done!

Every good wish for a stunning success with Meet me in Miami and for future ventures. Congratulations to you all.


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