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Govt support for film industry delivers

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for Economic Development
Hon Judith Tizard
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

20 October 2006 Media Statement

Govt support for film industry delivers


Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard today welcomed fresh evidence of the significant benefits the New Zealand’s screen production industry receives from large-budget international productions filmed here.

In its latest annual report released today, Film New Zealand profiles findings from an exit survey completed by seven international productions that have benefited from the government’s Large Budget Screen Production Grant since its introduction in November 2003.

The exit survey analysis illustrates benefits flowing from these productions:

- Ninety-one per cent of the total film crews were New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, representing a reported 4,694 jobs.

- Just under 80 per cent of acting roles were filled by local actors – representing 881 cast positions.

- Approximately $600 million was spent directly in New Zealand by the seven productions – representing almost 80 per cent of the total budgets of the productions.

"These findings show that these large international productions are good for our local screen production industry, and good for the economy. The assistance the government provides through the Large Budget Screen Grant and through Film New Zealand as well as Investment New Zealand are a crucial part of what brings these productions here. It's good to see the government's commitment to supporting this industry is delivering benefits to communities around New Zealand," Trevor Mallard said.

The findings show that New Zealand was chosen as a screen production destination for three main reasons: cost-effectiveness, creative considerations after finding suitable locations, and established relationships with the local screen production industry.

"The benefits listed by the overseas productions after they had filmed in New Zealand included financial advantages (including the government grant, the exchange rate, and production costs), locations, skills and professionalism of local crew, and industry infrastructure," said Trevor Mallard.

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard also welcomed the survey findings: "The Large Budget Screen Production Grant has helped to create jobs for New Zealand actors and production staff. It's also meant that more New Zealand films have been made alongside these international films."

Several respondents cited the English language and New Zealand’s reputation for personal safety and security. One respondent noted the high degree of co-operation among New Zealanders – both industry people and non-industry people with the communities where the films were shooting.

All respondents said they would consider bringing future productions to New Zealand and would recommend it as a screen destination to other international producers.

"The confidential exit survey provides Film New Zealand with a tool to assess artistic and economic outcomes that flow from the international productions we facilitate as the national film office. The survey itself is being refined to add to the range of information generated so that over time we will be able to highlight regional economic benefits," commented Film New Zealand CEO Judith McCann.

Film New Zealand’s 2005/06 Annual Report is released today and available at www.filmnz.com

Editors notes:

- The Large Budget Screen Production Grant 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 waived.

- Film New Zealand 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. An industry-led organisation, Film New Zealand receives funding from government, the New Zealand Film Commission and sponsors.

ENDS

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