A starring role: ChristchurchNZ CEO Alison Adams
How many screen productions do you think are filmed in Waitaha Canterbury annually?
Up until two years ago there was an average of just one production every three years partly filmed across the region.
Aotearoa’s screen industry, including gaming and special effects, is worth about $3.5 billion a year to New Zealand, yet Canterbury was attracting just 2.5% of that.
For Screen CanterburyNZ, this sector was ready for its close-up.
So, a first of its kind incentive in Aotearoa – the Screen CanterburyNZ Production Grant – was established providing just under $1.5 million to eligible productions that chose to film here.
Within the last nine months, six productions who received the grant have wrapped and the return on investment has brought economic benefits to local services such as infrastructure, transportation and accommodation.
A substantial number of Canterbury cast and crew were employed, for a total of 240 days, due to production activity that saw more than $14 million spent in this amazing region.
Not only has the grant attracted more productions, employed local cast and crew, and promoted a strong creative economy, it’s continuing to put Canterbury on the global map as a filming destination.
There’s also a sense of community delight when Elijah Wood shops in the Methven Four Square, or New Regent Street is abuzz with cast and crew. Lights, cameras and celebrity spotting creates a distinctive vibe that nothing else can quite match.