New Zealand Screen Production Grant comes into effect to boost location filming
New Zealand’s improved Screen Production Grant comes into effect today. First announced in December, the country now offers a base 20% grant figure for international shoots, while major big-budget productions like James Cameron’s Avatar sequels will get a 25% grant.
The Avatar sequels were reportedly reconsidering their international location filming options before the New Zealand Screen Production Grant was announced. Under a special deal with the New Zealand government, James Cameron and his production team will spend at least NZD500 million locally on three back-to-back Avatar sequels and most of the crew will be New Zealanders.
In a move that recognises the film tourism legacy of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, the New Zealand government has also ensured that the eventual home entertainment release of each Avatar film features a short documentary promoting the country.
“The increased incentive is very welcome, as is the government’s recognition that attracting film and television production into New Zealand has significant wider benefits for New Zealand, including most recently in our tourism sector,” said Gisella Carr, Chief Executive of Film New Zealand.
The increased incentive is very welcome, as is the government’s recognition that attracting film and television production into New Zealand has significant wider benefits for New Zealand.
Gisella Carr, Chief Executive of Film New Zealand
Added New Zealand Film Commission Chief Executive Dave Gibson: “These changes will mean more international business here while encouraging larger-scale New Zealand productions that grow and develop the screen sector’s capability, talent base and intellectual property.”
Before the filming incentive changes were announced, New Zealand was facing challenges attracting major international productions in the aftermath of principal photography wrapping on The Hobbit and long-running TV drama Spartacus coming to an end. The grant improvements should help boost the country’s international production competitiveness.
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