China and New Zealand filmmakers inch closer to co-productions

MUMBAI: Filmmakers from New Zealand and those from China have agreed to host more Chinese film productions in Auckland. This step is seen as a potential step toward a film co-productions treaty between the two countries.

The agreement struck last Sunday comes alongside a New Zealand Film Festival in China where it will coincide with the Shanghai International Film Festival that will be on from 12 to 20 June.

Said Film Auckland Executive Manager Michael Brook in a statement, "This is an extremely heartening move that will ensure greater communications, co-operation and co-productions between the Chinese and New Zealand film industries."

The MOU and the Kiwi festival, combined with visits to the SIFF and the ongoing Shanghai World Expo 2010 will pave the way for future co-productions between the two countries, Brook said.

The MOU comes as the result of three years of work by Film Auckland and members of the Asia Pacific Producer‘s Network, a group of 80 senior producers from around the Asia-Pacific region who meet annually to promote cooperation and co-productions, the statement said.

The Kiwis‘ Chinese partner in the memorandum of understanding, the China Film Association, is a non-governmental professional body with a membership of 6,000 that advocates for China‘s growing film industry. Box-office in China jumped 43 per cent in 2009 to $909 million.

"Film Auckland has been working behind the scenes to ensure that a co-production treaty with China will happen soon. This will support several projects that New Zealand producers are developing," the statement said.

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