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NZ talent propels Power Rangers

Film NZ, Wellington, 6 March 2015: New Zealand is taking a leading role in the new season of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise, Power Rangers Dino Charge, and will be featured prominently in an episode airing in the U.S. this weekend.

James Davies (black), Yoshi Sudarso (blue), EP Chip Lynn, Brennan Mejia (red), Camille Hyde (pink) and Michael Taber (green).

James Davies (black), Yoshi Sudarso (blue), EP Chip Lynn, Brennan Mejia (red), Camille Hyde (pink) and Michael Taber (green).

Followed by millions of fans in more than 150 countries, the new season of the iconic Power Rangers series premiered in the U.S. in February, also introducing Auckland actor James Davies as one of the 5 core Rangers, Chase the Black Power Ranger.

In the upcoming episode, “Breaking Black,” airing in the U.S. on March 7, the story behind the New Zealand Ranger and how he comes to receive his Energem is revealed.

A main storyline for the season also centres on a visit to New Zealand and will feature Auckland landmarks for the first time.

This top-rated and long-running kids’ live-action television franchise has long had a strong New Zealand connection having been produced in Auckland for more than 10 years.

While many of New Zealand’s well-known actors have been featured in the series in the past, the current season is the first time a New Zealand actor has played a New Zealand character with a recognisable Kiwi accent.

The new series delivers action, humour, excitement and entertainment, in addition to the core themes of friendship, teamwork, fitness and helping others. In addition to the New Zealand Black Ranger, Power Rangers Dino Charge introduces all-new villains, monsters, battle gear, Zords and Megazords.

Power Rangers’ production has been based at Auckland’s Studio West for over 10 years and has been a valued cornerstone of the region’s $700 million-a-year screen production industry,” says Brett O’Riley, chief executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

“It is fantastic to have Auckland’s outstanding range of locations, and now our acting talent, captured in the newest season of the iconic series, Power Rangers. We’re looking forward to seeing the end result showcasing Auckland to Power Rangers’ huge fandom around the world.”

Brett O’Riley says the production employs several hundred full and part-time crew, cast and extras, and engages numerous companies across Auckland for products and services including accommodation, building and materials, camera rental equipment, and rental cars and trucks.

“It’s been under the radar that this top-rated show is made in New Zealand, and it is testament to the skills of the New Zealand screen industry involved that the production has returned here year after year,” says Film New Zealand CE Gisella Carr. “The New Zealand Film Commission, Film New Zealand and ATEED’s Screen Auckland also worked together to help secure the season for New Zealand once more this year, despite strong international competition.”

Over 10 years, the show has been significant in providing employment and development opportunities for the New Zealand screen industry. Notable New Zealand screen talent associated with the show historically includes television directors; Charlie Haskell, Jonathan Brough, Peter Salmon, Mike Smith ,Peter Burger, Vanessa Alexander, Mark Beesley and John Laing, producers; Sally Campbell and Janine Dickins and actors; Stig Eldred, Kate Elliot, Ian Harcourt, Anna Hutchinson, Rene Naufahu, Rose McIver, Antonia Prebble, Donogh Rees and Holly Shanahan, many of whom have gone on to international careers.

Saban’s Power Rangers Dino Charge is being created by Executive Producer Judd ‘Chip’ Lynn and New Zealand Producer Sally Campbell, and includes a predominantly New Zealand crew as well as writing and directing interns.

The new season premiered in the U.S. on Saturday, February 7, at 12 p.m. (ET/PT), and will be followed by a global rollout later this year.

Kiwi fans will have to wait a little longer to see the new live-action New Zealand character on screen. Broadcast of the new Power Rangers Dino Charge in New Zealand has not yet been confirmed.

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