The NewZealand film industry claims it can build a sustainable business after anotheryear of winning international production business.
Both ofthis year's biggests end-of-yeartentpoles, King Kong and Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And TheWardrobe were shot in New Zealand, which has been marketing itself as a majorlocation following the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
PeterJackson, shot most of King Kong on soundstages at his own newly-built StoneStreet Studios complex, which also includes the Oscar-winning special effectscompany Weta Workshop,and digital effects company Weta Digital Ltd. Andpost-production facility Park Road Post
Narnia wasshot in studios and locations around New Zealand with Weta Workshop responsiblefor making many of the mythological characters incorporated in the stories.
Supportthrough Investment New Zealand, Film New Zealand and the Large Budget ScreenProduction Grant Scheme administered by the New Zealand Film Commission hashelped keep the flow of productions.
Butthe commitment to local film is now making an impact.
First ithas been able to bring back established directors like Roger Donaldson, whoreturned home for the first time to make The World's Fastest Indianwith Anthony Hopkins.
Thisweek Toa Fraser's debut feature No.2 has becomeone of just 16 films selected in competition for the Sundance Film Festival.
AndBrad McGann's psychological mystery In My Father's Den has recently been picked up for US distribution by Tartan Films.
Narniadirector Andrew Adamson said: "The biggest positive to me is that it increasesthe viability of both foreign and local film production in New Zealand which,as a New Zealander, I am very excited about."
New Zealand Film industry publicist Anne Chamberlain said: "New Zealand'ssuccess with the big Hollywood pictures has allowed an upskilling of localtechnical experience and confidence in itself."Although making independent films will always be a struggle there is a commitment to building an industry in New Zealand and we are seeing results now."
Some editions of this story previously contained an error. Apologies.