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NZ's first ever regional screen production grant now taking applications

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Screen CanterburyNZ Production Grant is set to kick Canterbury’s screen sector into high gear as global demand for screen content is at an all-time high.

The grant is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and will provide just under $1.5 million over the next three years to eligible productions that choose to film in the region.

Screen CanterburyNZ is part of ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development agency. Screen CanterburyNZ’s Manager Bree Loverich is confident the grant will prove successful at increasing the frequency of production in the region and in creating and sustaining screen jobs.

The initiative is a key priority of the industry led Waitaha Canterbury Screen Sector Action Plan, co-created with local and international industry stakeholders.

"Global screen production is at an all-time high and forecast to continue. It makes sense to launch this grant now to encourage production here in Waitaha Canterbury, which also supports the growth of our national industry," Loverich said.

The screen industry is an economic powerhouse with a high level of benefit across various local industries. Nearly 60% of a feature film budget typically goes back into services such as building, transportation and accommodation.

In addition to unparalleled scenery, the region boasts New Zealand’s third largest screen economy with an established and growing screen production ecosystem which includes talented crew, strong logistics supply chains, an international airport, available land, and comparatively affordable housing.

These factors and many others led New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to identify Christchurch as having the most potential outside Auckland and Wellington to host and deliver Tier 1 productions, which are productions with budgets of over $100 million dollars.

"Our scenery is what we’re known for, but we have so much more on offer," Loverich said.

"At Screen CanterburNZ, we are continually looking for innovative ways to support the needs of our domestic and international production partners. Offering this grant is part of that level of service."

Screen CanterburyNZ facilitates production enquiries and coordinates with content creators looking to film in the region, making sure they have the support they need and access to the information that will ensure their experience is a seamless one.

"Ōtautahi Christchurch works hard to ensure our film-friendliness is aligned with national best practice. Our screen protocols have been developed to ensure productions can get the permits they need, and they helped to facilitate the unprecedented full closure of a New Zealand motorway for Amazon’s feature film Don’t Make Me Go," Loverich said.

The first round of funding opens today to domestic and international productions that meet eligibility criteria, including having a total production budget of at least $500,000, have a finance plan in place and will wrap filming before June 2022. It will close at 5pm on 20 September.

If you’re looking to film a project in Canterbury, you’ll be able to find all eligibility criteria and the application form here: []

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