Missu Peace a catalyst for closer film relations with Japan

Missu Peace – an upcoming film co-produced between New Zealand and Japan – was recently selected for the Tokyo International Film Festival project market. Selection allows the team responsible for Missu Peace to pitch to the market in the hope of securing investment

Whilst this is a huge opportunity for all of the Missu Peace team, it sends a clear message to Japan that New Zealand is open for business for their film industry.

Chief Executive of the New Zealand Film CommissionGraeme Mason hoped it would see closer interaction between the New Zealand and Japanese film industries.

“The project builds and strengthens the great relationship between filmmakers in New Zealand and Japan and the organisations from both countries which help films get made.  We constantly work on behalf of filmmakers to maintain useful networks.  We also want to see more creative projects with Japan, signifying and celebrating the importance of the relationship between the two countries.”

Closer collaboration between our film industries opens a number opportunities for both sides. In her presentation to the Japanese-New Zealand Business Council, bilingual film producer Migiwa Ozawa from Film Construction Ltd, spoke of the advantages of filming in New Zealand.  In particular, New Zealand has four key elements that are of value to Japanese firms:

  • Reverse seasons
  • Diverse ethnic population
  • Diverse locations and environments
  • Excellent production values.

Graeme Mason spoke of the close relationship that the New Zealand Film Commission shared with the government.

“On behalf of the Government we certify co-productions and New Zealand films for tax purposes, while administering incentives such as the Large Budget Screen Production Grant and Screen Production Incentive Fund. Grants have been given to The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Top of the Lake, Mt Zion, Two Little Boys, and The Wot Wots (Series 2). X-Men: First Class also received a Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant (part of the Large Budget Screen Production Grant).”

“We have a strong domestic industry with the capability, creativity and technological ability to be able to support international productions to come here – and a great many do.  In the past year we have seen a number of international film and television productions being made here. This includes the filmsEmperorEvil Dead, The Hobbit films and Mr Pip and the television series Top of the Lake and Spartacus, along with numerous international television commercials and a wide range of domestic film and television productions.”

“We work with Trade and Enterprise and Tourism NZ in the marketing of New Zealand – as is evidenced this month with Tourism’s 100 % Middle Earth campaign designed to take advantage of and highlight the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

The enthusiasm of the New Zealand government and their willingness to support the film industry was also cited as a significant incentive to film here. Synergy between the film industries and other industries has traditionally been high, particularly when tourism is concerned.

“When we support films to screen at international markets and festivals we are marketing the films, the filmmakers, the screen industry and New Zealand as a destination and place to do business.  We work closely with Film NZ, which markets New Zealand as a filming destination, and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with diplomatic film screenings and in the undertaking of co-production treaty negotiations which support bilateral trade agreements.  We also worked with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage by financially supporting and providing films for the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair in order to support New Zealand’s Guest of Honour role.”

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