The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) welcomes the Screen Sector Recovery Package announced today by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni.
The package managed by the NZFC totals $15.4m of capacity funding and production support. The $2m in cultural capability funding will ensure the sector has the necessary industry, technical and business capability to meet the challenges of a post COVID-19 environment. A further $13.4m will support productions that were shut down, delayed or otherwise impacted by COVID-19 restrictions to be completed. There is also a separate $50M fund that will be managed in partnership with NZ On Air to fund New Zealand feature films and series drama for New Zealand and international audiences.
New Zealand Film Commission Chair Dame Kerry Prendergast said, “The impact of COVID-19 on the New Zealand screen industry has been significant and created uncertainty for a sector that contributes so much to the economy and to our national identity. The government recognised this and responded with a package that sets up the industry to regenerate as well as grow. We look forward to working with our colleagues at NZ On Air to bring distinctly New Zealand high-end feature film and series drama projects to local and global audiences.”
Recent research published by Olsberg SPI shows screen production has a significant economic impact globally, with the industry worth $177 billion worldwide in 2019 and creating 14 million full-time equivalent jobs. The demand for screen product has not lessened under COVID-19 conditions, but with production still on hiatus in many countries, eyes are turning to those where production has not just re-started, but where there are strong health and safety protocols in place to protect workers. New Zealand is one of those places, and will benefit on multiple levels, from the rapid injection of revenue into the economy, to jobs directly and indirectly supporting screen production.