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Canadian Filmmakers Heading To Wellington

Film and television producers from Canada and across New Zealand are meeting in Wellington next week for a co-production summit to discuss potential new ventures.

Thirty Canadians will join 50 of their Kiwi counterparts for a series of meetings in the capital to explore the benefits of collaborating on film and TV projects under an official co-production arrangement; allowing producers from each country to pool resources and access local support.

This is the first time the bi-annual co-production summit has taken place in Wellington and has been organised by Women in Film and Television (WIFT) New Zealand.

It comes just after Canadian-New Zealand co-production I, Object wrapped up filming in the city. Directed by Paraparaumu-born Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, The Truman Show) and produced by Tim White (Muru, The Luminaries) and Polly Fryer (Dark Tourist, We Were Dangerous), the live action scenes were filmed here and the animated sequences will be completed in Canada.

New Zealand Film Commission’s head of international relations, Chris Payne, says I, Object is a great example of how films can take advantage of the benefits offered by co-production treaties and build on past success and the special relationship with Canada.

“The treaties enable a range of film and TV productions, such as Night Raiders, a critically acclaimed science fiction feature film and the first indigenous co-production between New Zealand and Canada, to qualify as local productions in each country, and access development, production and incentives funding.”

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The summit will focus on how the co-production treaties work, with advice on finance, sales, and distribution, and provide the opportunity to connect with potential co-producers and other market partners. I, Object’s Canadian producer Daniel Beckerman will also speak about his perspective on working with New Zealand as a co-production partner.

Manager of the region’s film office Screen Wellington, Tanya Black is thrilled the Canada/NZ summit is taking place in Wellington.

“Great collaborations have resulted from past summits and we’re looking forward to welcoming the Canadian and NZ producers from around Aotearoa to the capital. It is a chance to show our world-class facilities and the connected nature of our screen sector means there are plenty of opportunities for the visitors to connect beyond the summit.”

The summit is also taking place during a busy time which will enable the Canadians see why UNESCO has recognised Wellington as a Creative City of Film.

Ahead of the summit starting on Sunday the inaugural Wellington Animation Film Festival (WAFF) takes place at the Roxy Cinema on Friday and Saturday, and as soon as the summit finishes, the visiting Canadians and many of the Kiwi producers will head to the Māoriland Film Festival in Ōtaki starting on Wednesday.

The co-production summit runs for three days from Sunday and is supported by Screen Wellington, Telefilm Canada, Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Media Producers Association, the Indigenous Screen Office, the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho, Park Rd Post and Wētā FX.

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