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Ex-pat producer returns home

Wendy Benge

Wendy Benge

LA-based producer and lawyer Wendy Benge has returned to New Zealand to develop initiatives to benefit Kiwi filmmakers and bring jobs to New Zealanders.

As a producer, Benge is currently completing post-production on psychological thriller Broken Vows, starring Wes Bentley (Interstellar, The Hunger Games, American Beauty), Jamie Alexander (Thor, Thor: The Dark World), and Cam Gigandet (Twilight). Bentley was recently in New Zealand working on Pete’s Dragon.

Benge will work with Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec). She and props master Sharon Roggio (House of Cards, Whip It, Red Dawn) will share experience and expertise with Creative Technologies students.

Benge will also produce the upcoming thriller from fellow WelTec tutor Alex Galvin (When Night Falls, Eternity). Galvin and Pukeko’s Theo Baynton signalled their intention to work on productions with WelTec students earlier this year.

Galvin’s film will be the first feature WelTec collaborates on, providing invaluable filmmaking experience for students and creating jobs for Kiwis.

Benge recently launched her New Zealand production company Bullet Entertainment, with offices based in Wellington and Hollywood. Benge is activity looking to develop several New Zealand films over the next few years.

“I’ve been looking for the right opportunity to share what I’ve learned in the US with our next generation of Kiwi filmmakers,” Benge said. “When I heard about the new Screen Advisory Board’s plan to help the New Zealand film industry create the skills and connections needed to generate their own intellectual property, to compete internationally and attract overseas finance to New Zealand, I knew the time was right to come back and do my part.”

Having studied at Canterbury University, Benge has worked as an enetertainment attorney and producer in the US for several years. Recently she’s worked on titles including Toronto-premiered Life of Crime, Sundance-premiered festival favourite Life after Beth and Lee Daniel’s The Butler.

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