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New Zealand Film Agencies to Merge

Film New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission are to join forces with effect from August 1.

The idea is to “[create] a one-stop shop for film makers and screen companies in New Zealand and overseas,” said Patsy Reddy, chair of the board of the NZFC.

The board of Film New Zealand will resign, and Film New Zealand chief executive Gisella Carr will step down from her role at the time of the integration. Film New Zealand’s staff will move in to NZFC premises.

New Zealand has been successful in developing a film industry that exports visual effects and post-production services and attracts major international movies, including “Avatar” and “Lord of the Rings” to shoot. This has happened through a combination of factors including the availability of generous financial incentives, the building of high tech facilities and the success of individual talents, notably Peter Jackson.

The country recently reinforced its attractions by streamlining the New Zealand Screen Production Grant system.

“We see this [merger] as combining the expertise, relationships, resources and strengths of both agencies, to support industry efforts to attract screen productions and promote New Zealand as a world-class film location,” said Reddy. She thanked Carr for her “outstanding contribution.”

“The announcement formalises the ongoing collaborative work between the two agencies and will deliver positive results for New Zealand’s screen industry and our international clients,” said Film New Zealand board chairman John McCay.

The merger of the two organizations will also put an end to a peculiar piece of linguistic confusion. At present Film New Zealand handles location attraction, a task that in many other countries is handled by a film commission. The New Zealand Film Commission is currently a financier, development and policy body.

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