Wellington is New Zealand’s creative heart, home to more than 500,000 people and one of the world-leading organizations in the film, technology, arts and creative industries. The silver screen industry is crucial to Wellington’s regional economy, generating over US$ 422 million in revenue per annum and employing more than 2,500 people, as well as being New Zealand’s top earner for film post-production at US$ 269 million. From 2013 to 17, the screen industry contributed an estimated US$ 1.13 billion to the region, 21.4% of the gross revenue of the country’s screen industry.
Such is the city’s passion for film that the 40-year old Wellington Film Festival is one of the best-attended film events globally. Yet there is also a focus on the country’s indigenous people with The Māoriland Film Festival, celebrating Maori voices by inviting indigenous films and their creators from New Zealand, the Pacific and around the globe, to display their spectacular storytelling traditions.
Wellington’s overall vision is to be an incubator of creativity, exploration and innovation, as well as to create a sustainable future in which the New Zealand’s screen industry can thrive and grow. The city’s key policies impacting on the screen sector are delivered by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC). This includes investing in New Zealand feature films and short films, supporting script development and the careers of film-makers, fostering screen professional guilds and interest groups, such as Women in Film and Television (WIFT), and Pacific Islanders in Film and Television (PIFT). Furthermore, the policies also support the promotion of the New Zealand films on a national and overseas platform, facilitating co-productions, and administering the New Zealand Screen Production Grant and other grants.
As a Creative City of Film, Wellington envisages:
- cooperating with other Creative Cities, online and face to face, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region;
- strengthening links with the Pacific to build capacity and enhance a Pacific voice within the UCCN;
- enhancing support for indigenous screen practitioners throughout the UCCN to strengthen their practice;
- sharing and expanding expertise in interactive and immersive technologies in preparing for the future of screen creation and production;
- sharing best practice in facilitating the cultural expressions of vulnerable groups; and
- exchanging experiences in facilitating creativity in urban development, including creative hubs and spaces, and integrating culture in urban planning.