The UK’s Power and New Zealand’s Screentime, both predominantly television companies, have teamed to produce the disaster epic Ice, set in 2020.

The film is based on the book by James Follett, directed by the UK’s Nick Copus (The Day Of the Triffids) and stars Australian actors Richard Roxburgh and Frances O’Connor as the scientists at the heart of the story.

Other UK actors in the cast are Claire Forlani, Ben Cross, Simon Callow and Patrick Bergin. New Zealander Sam Neill also has a key role.

Ice draws on worldwide fears about climate change to tell a story of devastation and panic after a glacier in Greenland melts due to the actions of an energy company.

The film’s status as an official UK/New Zealand co-production makes it eligible to claim incentives in both countries, including 40% off its New Zealand costs under the relatively new Screen Production Incentive Fund.

Filming began in September to take advantage of winter snow, then the film went into a hiatus during which Stephen Moyer (True Blood) joined the cast. It will continue through until late November.

The film is produced by Ric Pellizzeri and executive produced by Power chief executive Justin Bodle, Power head of production Ewa Radwanska and Screentime New Zealand head of production Philly de Lacey. Director of photography Richard Bluck worked on second unit on both King Kong and The Lord of the Ringst trilogy.

The NZ arm of Screentime, which is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, began life as Communicado, which made a number of features, including Once Were Warriors.

Screentime principal Bob Campbell said the opportunity to be involved in Ice came through Power and it would be wrong to read too much into it in terms of the direction of the company: “Our lives are pretty busy with television,” he told

Last week Screen announced that another New Zealand/UK co-production, Tracker, had started production last week and is also expected to claim back 40% of its productions costs under the Screen Production Incentive Fund.

Tracker is a period thriller stars Ray Winstone and Temuera Morrison and is being directed by Ian Sharp

David Burns and Trevor Haysom are producing for Eden Films and T.H.E. Film in association with Phoenix Wiley & Liberty Films.