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Christchurch welcomes an international feature film

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Ōtautahi Christchurch’s new motorways could double as American roads in a production being filmed in the city in June.

Kiwi producer Matt Noonan (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), who just wrapped production on The Royal Treatment - filmed entirely on location in Dunedin and Oamaru - together with producer Donald De Line (Ready Player One, Fools Gold, Body of Lies, Green Lantern) are leading the production in New Zealand.

"Christchurch and Canterbury are perfect for this new project and the region has tons of potential for screen production going forward," Noonan said.

It would involve the closure of a section of both the Northern and Southern motorways at different times - the newly-completed roads are a key reason Christchurch was chosen as a filming location for the road movie.

Ian Duncan, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Acting Director of Regional Relationships, said they were working together with Screen CanterburyNZ, the regional screen office, to support the project.

"Filming would require the closing of motorways for short periods. We have identified timeslots that we think will reduce inconvenience to motorway users and fit with the film schedule," Duncan said.

"Impacts on travel time will be small, confined to weekends and involve short detours. Our intention is to minimise closures as much as possible, as outlined in the Public Notice being published in the Press on14 May."

Bree Loverich, manager of Screen CanterburyNZ within ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development agency, said it was the first feature film production to film in the city since 2017.

"It is the accessibility of locations like this in Christchurch that make us attractive to international productions. This is a great example of the film friendliness of our city, which has been unlocked by the recently released Ōtautahi Christchurch Screen Protocols," Loverich said.

"We’re committed to securing a larger share of the $3.5b screen industry in New Zealand, and this project is definitely a step in the right direction."

The country is experiencing significant interest from international studios as a filming destination, and Christchurch and Canterbury are in a perfect position to provide capacity for the national industry to grow and meet unprecedented global demand for content.

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