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Govt ready for The Return of the King

Govt ready for The Return of the King

Cabinet minister Pete Hodgson today announced the Government's planned activities and events around The Return of the King, the third of The Lord of the Rings movies, and its forthcoming world premiere in Wellington.

The plans follow similar efforts to maximise the value for New Zealand from the release of the first two movies in the series.

“We aim to capture the maximum benefit for tourism, the New Zealand film industry and international understanding of this country’s exceptional creative talent and technology," said Mr Hodgson, the minister appointed by Cabinet to oversee The Lord of the Rings related projects.

The Government has allocated $4 million for initiatives linked with The Return of the King. Up to $2 million will go towards the cost of the 1 December premiere and an associated publicity programme designed to increase international media exposure for New Zealand, covering the lifestyle, travel, trade, investment, business, film, fashion, arts and culture sectors.

"The premiere and associated initiatives are projects involving Government agencies, Investment New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, in an on-going partnership with New Line Cinema, Roadshow Film Distributors and the Wellington City Council," Mr Hodgson said.

"With significant world media attention focused on New Zealand, we will showcase what makes this country attractive to investors, visitors and potential buyers of our goods and services. We will make sure that visiting media understand how New Zealand talent and innovation combines to produce great movies and innovative businesses."

Key events in the publicity programme around the premiere are: a "New Zealand Grand Showcase" dinner for international media on Sunday 30 November, hosted by Ministers and the Mayor of Wellington; and a Prime Ministerial reception at Parliament on Monday 1 December, premiere day, for cast and key crew of The Return of the King.

"These events will be followed by a series of New Zealand-focused functions and receptions for media and industry leaders coinciding with premieres in 10 overseas cities between December and March," Mr Hodgson said. "These will be modelled on similar events held around the premieres of the first two The Lord of the Rings movies, which were successful in raising New Zealand's profile as a film-making destination."

Other initiatives include promotional material, inward film trade missions, New Zealand participation at major film trade events, research on the effect of The Lord of the Rings trilogy on tourism, support for Te Papa's touring Lord of the Rings exhibition and post-2004 Oscars advertising for New Zealand as a film production destination. New Zealand diplomatic posts will again run a series of events in key markets to take advantage of the promotional opportunity the film creates.

Investment New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will be working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Film New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission on these international events and initiatives.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King opens in New Zealand cinemas on December 18, 2003.

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