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Interest Remains Strong for Filming in New Zealand

International Interest Remains Strong for Filming in New Zealand

Film New Zealand has released its annual report highlighting increased number of inquiries about filming in New Zealand, expansion of ‘film friendly’ partnerships and first results of the Large Budget Screen Production Grant exit survey.

Film New Zealand, the national film locations office founded by the screen production industry in 1994, managed 143 project inquiries in its last financial year, 70 more than the previous year; 91 of these related to feature films. It reports that overseas interest in New Zealand as a screen production destination remained high during the year, with six inbound recces involving producers and key creatives from the USA and Australia visiting locations for potential future productions.

“Film New Zealand’s information and facilitation services are increasingly working for local filmmakers as well as those from overseas, covering television commercials, documentaries, TV dramas and reality shows along with feature film projects”, said chief executive Judith McCann.

‘Film friendly’ New Zealand initiatives during the year included renewed partnership agreements with six established regional film offices and welcoming Film Volcanic (covering Bay of Plenty through to Rotorua) as the newest and seventh regional partner. The number of local or district councils adopting best practice filming protocols increased to 27 with the addition of Wanganui District, Papakura District and Palmerston North City councils.

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Film New Zealand also finalised the new Code of Practice with the Department of Conservation to promote environmentally friendly filming on conservation land. The Code was launched jointly with the Minister of Conservation in July.

The annual report provides results on the survey of international production companies that have worked in New Zealand as saying their experiences here were highly positive. The survey, carried out as part of the Large Production Budget Grant scheme, quotes one such company praising the warmth and cooperation of not only industry professionals who worked on the production but members of the local communities where the production took place. Chairman David Madigan on behalf of the Board of Trustees and management welcomed the Government’s acknowledgment of Film New Zealand’s value as an industry led operation which works alongside government to facilitate domestic and overseas film and television productions in New Zealand. Commencing in 2005/06, Film New Zealand is receiving annual core funding from the Ministry of Economic Development providing much-needed stability.

The new Board commences 2005/06 with a new strategic plan reflecting the organisation’s focus and its collaborative relationships with Investment NZ, New Zealand Film Commission and the screen production industry.

The Film New Zealand Annual Report for 2004/05 is available to download online at: http://www.filmnz.com/news/policy-developments.html

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