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New Zealand, Koreans ink film pact

Countries sign co-production treaty

SEOUL — South Korea and New Zealand signed a film co-production treaty Monday, capping many years of negotiation.

The treaty, proposed in 2003, will give co-productions all the benefits of the two countries’ own projects, including funding and tax breaks. Pact also allows for temporary immigration and importation of equipment.

South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the treaty will contribute to the globalization of Korean films. The treaty is expected to expand the exportation of Korean films, as it allows overseas distribution of the co-productions.

“This agreement will provide a further boost to filmmakers to advance these projects,” New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said at the signing ceremony in Wellington.

In 2005, Clark signed an Audio Visual Cooperation Agreement with South Korea at APEC in Pusan. In 2007, film producers of both countries signed an agreement to collaborate on co-production projects, led by Film Auckland and the Korean Film Producers Assn.

South Korea has a co-production treaty with France, while New Zealand has such deals with eight other countries including Germany, Canada and the U.K.

Korean films lensed in New Zealand include “Bungee Jumping of Their Own,” “Silmido,” “Oldboy” and “Antarctic Journal.”

More recently, U.S.-Korean co-production “The Laundry Warrior” was lensed in New Zealand with the participation of “The Lord of the Rings” producer Barrie M. Osborne.