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Screen production celebrated in film-friendly Wellington

11 Nov 2015

New Zealand's top film and TV producers will gather in Wellington this week for the annual Screen Producers (SPADA) Conference as the region’s film office celebrates its 20th birthday.

The SPADA Conference will be officially opened by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Maggie Barry, and will include presentations from international keynote speakers and masterclasses featuring creative artists and programme-makers.

Attendees will have the chance to pitch their ideas to a room full of network executives, producers and production companies at the South Pacific Pictures’ Big Pitch Competition.

On Thursday, the 18th Annual SPADA Industry Awards will be announced, acknowledging emerging filmmaking talent, industry achievement and excellence.

Screen Wellington, Wellington’s film office, is one of the sponsors of this year’s SPADA Conference.

Originally (and until now) called Film Wellington, it is the oldest film office in the country. It was set up to help filmmakers by providing location advice, connecting them to services and issuing permits on behalf of councils.

The office has changed its name to Screen Wellington to reflect the convergence to multiple production formats and viewing platforms.

A refreshed website, ScreenWellington.com, has been designed to help attract further production to the region.

According to Statistics New Zealand’s 2014 Screen Industry Survey, $645 million in feature film revenue was generated in Wellington in the last financial year and 82 percent of New Zealand’s post production work took place in the region.

Chris Whelan, Chief Executive of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency said the achievements of region’s screen sector and film office over the last 20 years deserved to be celebrated.

“Screen production is incredibly important to the Wellington region, bringing in tourists and talent – both creative and tech. It drives significant economic benefit and adds directly to making this the vibrant region it is. Screen Wellington and the region’s councils have played an important role in establishing our screen-friendly rep-utation and we look forward to seeing increasing growth and development in this critical sector.”

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