The Influencers: Alison Adams

A bright future

Watching Kiwi Jane Campion win a best directing Oscar for The Power of the Dog demonstrated the power of screen stories to move and inspire people.

Think of the Lord of the Rings effect, where about 1 percent of visitors to New Zealand said they came because of those movies,
six percent said LOTR was one of the reasons they visited, and 80 percent said they knew the movie trilogy was filmed here. Screen stories put a region on the global map.

Now think of the stunning, diverse landscapes of Waitaha Canterbury. They served as the backdrop for parts of LOTR and many more movies: Mulan,
A Wrinkle in Time, Z is for Zachariah, The Hobbit, even Murder on the Orient Express.

The screen industry, including gaming and special effects, is worth about $3.5 billion a year to New Zealand, but Canterbury attracts only 2.5 percent of that. So there is huge upside for this industry and its potential is quickly being realised. The region’s screen office, Screen CanterburyNZ, has worked to unite the local industry, adopt a regional strategy, make filming easier by developing permitting protocols and launch a first-in-New Zealand $1.5 million regional screen incentive grant. The University of Canterbury’s recently announced $97 million Digital Screen Campus is a big vote of confidence in this opportunity.

A thriving screen sector is the backbone of a strong creative economy, attracting a younger generation into future-proofed jobs, and Canterbury’s screen future is looking bright.

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