Film NZ warns of long-lasting damage to New Zealand Reputation
Film NZ warns of long-lasting damage to New Zealand reputation
Film New Zealand is warning New Zealand’s reputation in the international film community is at stake as an employment dispute involving actors in The Hobbit films gains profile.
Chief Executive Gisella Carr says as the national agency charged with marketing New Zealand as a top country in which to make international film and television, Film New Zealand is concerned about the potential long-term damage to New Zealand’s reputation.
“The Hobbit films are worth millions of dollars to New Zealand’s economy and they represent hundreds of jobs – not just acting roles, but also crew and all suppliers to the film industry.
“And should New Zealand lose The Hobbit because of this dispute, we could be not just losing these films, but also our ability to attract international film productions into the future,” she says.
Gisella Carr says it is an intensely competitive business attracting multimillion dollar productions such as The Hobbit films and other major productions made in New Zealand including feature films 10,000BC and Avatar and long running television such as Spartacus and Power Rangers. Other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the US and Eastern Europe are eagerly waiting in the wings to pick up such valuable work.
“Other countries have everything to gain from a dispute in New Zealand. International productions can take their pick of where they film in the world, and everyone wants a picture like The Hobbit. It’s a buyer’s market.”
Already the issue is gaining international news coverage, meaning the story is in front of the American press.
“It is this sort of publicity that could seriously damage New Zealand’s long-standing reputation for having a commonsense and reasonable approach to labour matters,” she says.