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New Zealand attracts strong film industry interest

New Zealand attracts strong film industry interest

Ongoing government support for large budget films continues to draw international film productions to New Zealand.

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Ongoing government support for large budget films continues to draw international film productions to New Zealand, says Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard.

"This winter has been one of the busiest for the New Zealand film industry since the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Warner Bros. Film, 10,000 BC, directed by Roland Emmerich completed a six week shoot in the Wanaka region last month, Walden Media, Revolution Studios and Beacon were shooting the family movie, The Water Horse, in Queenstown last month and are now completing the production in Wellington. A Ghost House Pictures film, Thirty Days of Night, produced by Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi will commence shooting at the end of this month in Auckland and later in Central Otago.

"The New Zealand screen industry is in great shape, and its reputation overseas continues to grow.The government's large budget screen production grant is an important part of the package that makes New Zealand an attractive place to make both feature films and television. Two other key elements of the package are our magnificent and diverse locations and highly skilled production crews."

The grant provides a 12.5 per cent rebate on production expenditure of more than $15 million within New Zealand as long as total expenditure here is greater than 70 per cent of the total production budget. Where production expenditure in New Zealand exceeds $50 million, the 70 per cent threshold is wavered. Qualifying expenditure includes salaries, editing, music, sound, catering, construction and set design, travel and post-production and visual effects.

Final grant payments were recently made to King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In the case of King Kong, the production received $48.65 million based on qualifying expenditure of $389,221,032 and The Chronicles of Narnia received $16,728,465, based on qualifying expenditure of $133,827,724.

"I am thrilled that the New Zealand film industry continues to thrive, and I look forward to more productions coming here in the near future,"Trevor Mallard said.

A recent independent economic evaluation of the impacts of large budget screen productions such as the Chronicles of Narnia and the Hercules mini-series over the last two years showed they had generated a $363 million direct cash injection into the New Zealand economy; additional economic activity of $119 to $227 million; and indirect benefits ranging from $10 million to $34 million.

Overall the economic evaluation estimated the net economic impact of the large budget screen production grant scheme was between a $33 million net gain and a $38 million net loss. However, the evaluation was conservative as it did not quantify a series of additional benefits, including the goodwill that the scheme generated with screen producers, the value of New Zealand's international reputation, the value of additional infrastructure and industry development, spin-offs such as set construction, transport logistics, graphic design, accommodation and catering, and the benefits for other sectors, for instance the up-skilling of the digital sector, and the growth in tourism.

As well as the grants scheme, there is other government support for filmmakers through Film New Zealand which is the national locations office. It facilitates access both nationally and internationally to New Zealand as one of the world's best screen production destinations. It provides a complete introduction service for those wishing to film in New Zealand, with information about our locations, facilities, crews, permits, immigration, transport and accommodation.

There is also local government support and a nationwide commitment to being 'Film Friendly', through the services available from the network of regional film offices and the 27 local and district councils that have adopted
"Film Friendly" policies on filming.

ENDS

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