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Glamorous NZ TV series predicted to provide tourism boost

26 May 2016

Glamorous New Zealand TV series predicted to

provide major Chinese tourism boost

The screening across China yesterday (Eds: May 25) by State television channel CCTV of a major New Zealand-based documentary will be seen by tens of millions of Chinese viewers, and likely lead to a significant boost in tourism.

The three-part Glamorous New Zealand series is a co-production between CCTV and NHNZ, the Dunedin-based documentary production company. NHNZ, which also has a Beijing office, has been co-operating with CCTV and other Chinese television companies for well over a decade, is recognised as a leading global production house with a reputation for innovation in storytelling and technology. NHNZ has a string of highly acclaimed Chinese co-productions to its credit.

Just a few weeks ago, NHNZ signed three new co-production agreements with CCTV to co-produce Panda and the Kiwi, an animated children’s series, a second series of the popular children’s series ZooMoo – Animal Friends and a documentary series on the Silk Road.

Glamorous New Zealand was filmed earlier this year over two weeks as the CCTV production unit criss-crossed both the North and South Islands. A reciprocal documentary series, Glamorous China, will be filmed by an NHNZ crew in China later this year and will show New Zealand television audiences China’s richly diverse culture and spectacular landscapes. Both series will screen in New Zealand on Choice TV.

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The Glamorous series was launched at a high profile event at Te Papa on Tuesday night, which also marked the opening of the 2016 New Zealand China Film Week. Among those attending were H.E. Mr. Liu Qibao, Member of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat and Minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, H.E. Mr. Wang Lutong, China's Ambassador to New Zealand, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barry and the producer/director and stars of Chinese blockbuster The Mermaid, a science fiction romantic comedy. The Mermaid, China’s highest grossing box office hit of all time, with receipts of more than US$520 million, was screened at Te Papa to mark the opening of the 2016 Film Week.

Ambassador Lutong said the increasingly close links and co-operation between the Chinese and New Zealand film industries heralded a “golden age” that was “a model of China’s successful relations with Western nations”.

Minister Barry also welcomed the growing number of film and television co-productions, saying they “serve as a bridge between our two vibrant countries”.

Shen Ming, First Secretary Director of Cultural Section, Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, said: “Glamorous New Zealand will give another huge boost to New Zealand tourism because it will be seen by millions and millions of Chinese viewers. It will also boost investment because of the wonderful clean, green images portrayed in the show’s three episodes.”

The Mermaid’s producer-director Stephen Chow and leading actor Deng Chao both spoke of their love of New Zealand’s open spaces and dramatic scenery. “Hopefully I can return to New Zealand in the future to shoot some films,” said Mr Chow.

NZ Film Commission Chief Executive Dave Gibson said: “The launch of the New Zealand China Film Week in Wellington comes only a month after John Key visited China to open the inaugural New Zealand Film Festival in Shanghai. The close proximity of these two important cultural events highlights the strengthening relationship between our two countries and our eagerness to create and work on films together.”

In 2010 the Chinese and New Zealand governments signed The Film Co-production Agreement, which was followed in 2014 by the landmark Television Programmes Co-Production Agreement. This was the first agreement on jointly producing television programmes signed by the Chinese government with a foreign government.

The Te Papa event was jointly hosted by The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China, the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission.


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