New Zealand launches extra funding round to stimulate production

New Zealand took a hit recently when it lost out on production of S2 of Amazon's Lord of the Rings 

By Nia Daniels 31 Aug 2021

New Zealand launches extra funding round to stimulate production
Lord of the Rings via Amazon Studios

The New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air have launched an extra funding opportunity for the screen industry to stimulate the Covid-19 recovery. 

The Interim Round aims to distribute money quickly to generate employment and help get the domestic production sector back on its feet. It is for projects that can clearly demonstrate production readiness while maintaining the overall purpose of the fund which is to “deliver high-quality New Zealand stories for international audiences.” 

Around $8.4 million dollars has been returned to the fund from Round 1 as underspend and will now be made available through the interim production funding round for The Premium Fund. 

The precise amount to be funded will be determined by a panel comprising two board members from each agency and an independent chair. The application portal opens next week, 6 September.  

The Premium Fund Round 2, upwards of $20 million, will open for applications as planned in early 2022, and will remain largely unaffected by the new, interim round. 

The Premium Development Fund has been postponed due to the current lockdown situation. New Zealand took a very high-profile hit recently when it lost out to the UK to produce Series 2 of Amazon’s behemoth Lord of the Rings project (pictured). 

David Strong, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission was stoic when the news broke, saying:  “We’re an easy country to do business in and New Zealanders have a reputation for being highly skilled, innovative and creative. Our locations are legendary, and we have competitive incentives and infrastructure. This coupled with the Government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic positions us as an attractive partner for international productions.” 

The first series of the drama generated a production spend for the country of around $650m, employing nearly 2000 New Zealanders. 

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