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Major Support for China-New Zealand Screen Collaboration

News: 20 November 2014

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) today welcomed the signing of the New Zealand-China Television Co-Production Agreement and announced two initiatives to further support feature film and television collaboration between the two countries.

Signed in Wellington by State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People's Republic of China (SAPPRFT) Minister, Hon Cai Fuchao and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Maggie Barry ONZM, this is the first television co-production agreement China has signed with another country.

The treaty complements the existing New Zealand-China Film Co-Production Agreement, signed in 2010.  Co-production status enables filmmakers to access funding and incentives programmes in each country and also means the project is regarded as a national film/TV series of each country.

To assist filmmakers to develop feature film projects with China the NZFC has established a dedicated NZ$1million China Co-Production Production fund for investment in the production of one or more official feature film co-productions with China.  The fund builds on the China Co-Production Development fund established earlier this year.

Announcing the fund, NZFC CEO Dave Gibson said a delegation of senior New Zealand screen sector professionals, including China-focused producers and regional film office representatives, will travel to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing at the end of the month. 

“China played a huge role in my former life as an independent producer and I kept this a major priority when I joined the NZFC.   The timing of the delegation to China with the signing of the television treaty and the introduction of the feature film co-production production fund is incredibly significant and will have a strong impact on our filmmakers working with China.”

NHNZ is one of the companies participating in the delegation.  General Manager, John Crawford says, “We’ve been collaborating with China for decades but haven’t had access to all the benefits that treaty-based co-production brings until now.  We’re really excited to see NHNZ’s relationship with China deepen – the launch of the feature film co-production fund and the delegation’s visit next month really couldn’t be better timed for us.”

Further details of the China Co-Production Production Fund will be available on the NZFC website shortly.

The New Zealand Film Commission invests in original and culturally significant films, encourages talented New Zealand filmmakers through developing career pathways and facilitating connections offshore, and works to increase the number of people seeing New Zealand films here and overseas.  It supports the growth of economic activity and helps ensure New Zealand has sustainable screen sector businesses operating within an internationally competitive screen sector.  The NZFC also helps negotiate co-production treaties and certifies co-productions and New Zealand films for tax purposes.

NHNZ is a major global documentary producer with a 15 year history of successfully working in China with long-standing co-production partners such as CCTV and CICC. It creates original factual content for Discovery Channels, Animal Planet, A&E Television Networks, Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic Channels, NHK, France Television and CCTV.  Highly regarded for its 35-year-plus natural history heritage, NHNZ has had success across the board with factual shows like L.A Frock Stars for the Smithsonian Channel and I Survived… for A&E.  The company’s storytelling prowess has been recognised with more than 250 international awards including Emmy awards and the prestigious Wildscreen Panda.  In addition to its one stop hub in Dunedin, New Zealand, NHNZ has offices in Beijing and Washington DC.  John works closely with the company’s many valued co-production and business partners in China and worldwide and has extensive experience in structuring and negotiating international co-productions.  John is also a Board member of Film New Zealand, the country’s film locations office providing information, introductions and support to filmmakers both internationally and locally.

Updated on 7th October 2019