Execs from the New Zealand Film Commission have been meeting with producers at the FilmMart to research potential development and co-production opportunities.

At a breakfast Saturday, reps from NZFC and the National Film & Video Foundation spoke about the South Africa/New Zealand Co-Production Treaty, which was signed in 2011.

“I see my role as facilitating opportunities for our filmmakers and backing them up with technical advice, as well as meeting as many people as I can who might want to connect with the New Zealand Film industry,” said Mladen Ivancic, deputy CEO of New Zealand Film Commission (in the photo above).

“We have a particularly good connection with South Africa, in a way that we possibly don’t have with some of the other treaty countries, as we share a common language, have a historical connection and there is a healthy S.A. migrant population in New Zealand.”

“New Zealand has co-production agreements with 13 countries, and out of these, about 60 co-productions have been made, with a production budget value of around NZ$660 million,” Ivancic continued. “We have brought three producers and one film-maker to South Africa to start the process of co-production with this country.”

Toni Monty of the Durban FilmMart said,  “We are really pleased to report that already out of this session, two producers have been able to begin discussions on possible co-productions. We look forward to more delegates from New Zealand attending the FilmMart next year and we will be holding similar initiatives at future DFM’s against the backdrop of other co-production treaties that South Africa has in place.”

Terrence Khumalo, manager of film certification of the NFVF, said South Africa has also signed seven other treaties, with Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy and the U.K. since 1997. That translates into 95 projects of just under R5 billion in South Africa.

“Treaties are government trade instruments whose main objective is to promote cultures of the countries and help filmmakers to access markets of their international counterparts,” Khumalo said. “They enable filmmakers to access finance, distribution and exhibition in co-producer’s territory. Treaties also serve to expose local talent to international markets.”

The Durban FilmMart ran July 19-22, concluding with an awards ceremony.