The freshly-minted Screen CanterburyNZ Production Incentive is yet another step toward the increasing viability of screen production in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Approximately $1.5 million will be distributed over three years, with domestic and international productions eligible – as long as they have a budget of at least $500,000.
The incentive announcement comes just weeks after a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) report said Christchurch has “the most potential” outside Auckland and Wellington to host and deliver Tier 1 productions (productions with a budget over $100m). It is the only regional incentive scheme in the country – a first of its kind.
Distribution, eligibility, and application details are currently being designed, with details set to be finalised within the month. Informed by a survey of industry professionals, the distribution plan is being designed by Selina Joe and Benedict Reid – chosen for their experience in providing funding advisory services to the film and television industry.
Screen CanterburyNZ is part of ChristchurchNZ, the City’s economic development agency. Screen CanterburyNZ Manager Bree Loverich said they are thrilled to open this funding channel to not only boost the number of productions filmed here but also empower storytelling at both a local and international level.
We’re confident this will be successful, and we’re hoping to grow this funding in years to come,”
“We’re confident this will be successful, and we’re hoping to grow this funding in years to come,” Loverich said.
The funding will cover a number of incentives every year, as well its marketing, management and distribution. A portion of the fund will be earmarked to develop and produce local stories. The design work of this aspect of the fund will begin in late August, in consultation with guilds, local producers, and content creators.
“The New Zealand screen industry is worth over $3.5 billion every year, and Canterbury’s percentage of that is growing every year,” Loverich said.
Global screen production is currently higher than ever and forecast to continue growing, so it makes sense to launch this production incentive now and encourage production here in Waitaha Canterbury, while supporting the growth of the national industry.”
“Global screen production is currently higher than ever and forecast to continue growing, so it makes sense to launch this production incentive now and encourage production here in Waitaha Canterbury, while supporting the growth of the national industry.”
In addition to incredible scenery, the region has many strengths to support productions, including an established and growing screen production skill base and ecosystem, an international airport with anticipated direct flights to and from Los Angeles, available land, affordable housing, and a regional incentive.
One mid-sized episodic TV series could potentially create $13m in annual spend, 117 full-time equivalent jobs, $10.7m total GDP, with approximately $2.4m spent on accommodation and food. The goal is to have multiple international and local screen productions filming concurrently. Each with training and skill development initiatives to support further industry growth.
Screen production includes content creation activities for businesses, feature film and television production, and game development. Ōtautahi Christchurch’s screen economy is currently the third largest in New Zealand behind Auckland and Wellington.