Film NZ, Wellington, April 4, 2014: Some of New Zealand’s top film and television talent mingled with Hollywood notables to celebrate the introduction of New Zealand’s new screen incentives at a function hosted by Film New Zealand.
A Celebration of New Zealand Screen drew more than 120 film and television industry people including a large contingent of well-known New Zealand actors working in LA.
Guests included Film New Zealand’s LA-based business partners and New Zealand actors and crews living in the city. Also attending were notable New Zealand directors Roger Donaldson and Niki Caro and actors Rhys Darby, Antonia Prebble, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rena Owen, Charles Mesure, Madeleine Sami and Zoe Bell. Former Shortland Street stars including Claire Chitham, Craig Parker and Fleur Saville as well as musicians Gin Wigmore and Ladyhawke also attended.
Keisha Castle-Hughes said the event was a great way to celebrate the exceptional talent of her fellow actors in LA, “We are all here representing home, each day is a huge success.” Fleur Saville noted that the event showed, “We are unstoppable when we join together with our Kiwi enthusiasm, passion and talent.”Oscar-winning Hollywood producer Michael Phillips (Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind), actor and director Stephen Tobolowsky (Memento, Groundhog Day, Californication), producer Mark Ordesky (Lord of the Rings), writer and director Lee Aronsohn (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) and producer Steve Bannatyne (Z for Zachariah), which wrapped filming in New Zealand in February this year, were among the ‘honorary friends of New Zealand’ at the ceremony.
The event took place at a private residence in Mulholland Drive on April 1, marking the day New Zealand’s new film incentive scheme, the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, came into effect.
“In welcoming the new screen incentives, Film New Zealand wanted to take the opportunity to bring together some of our unofficial ambassadors in the entertainment capital who do so much to help us spread the word about what New Zealand’s screen industry offers Hollywood.” Film New Zealand Chief Executive Gisella Carr says.
“People are our best asset when it comes to promoting what we offer – often when we attract new international production there’s a New Zealand connection somewhere.”
Film New Zealand organised the function with the support of the New Zealand Consul-General Leon Grice and the former Shortland Street star Fleur Saville and with the involvement of sponsors, including Icebreaker, Trilogy and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Xtreme Forwarding