News for Feb. 10, 2006

Hobbits, Witches, King Kong Lift New Zealand's Filmmakers

2/10/06, 11:41 am EST - Xoanon

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand's film industry is showing it's not all scenery and hobbits. The South Pacific nation's movie business, catapulted to fame by Peter Jackson's ``Lord of the Rings'' trilogy, which was filmed in the country, is tapping a surge in funding to make films such as Toa Fraser's ``No. 2,'' winner of the world cinema audience award at last month's Sundance Film Festival. Local studios have gained from Hollywood-funded productions such as ``King Kong,'' the latest blockbuster by New Zealander Jackson, and Andrew Adamson's production of ``The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,'' both filmed in the country. That boosted production financing to a record NZ$596 million ($406 million) in the year ended March 31, 2005, from about NZ$300 million in 1999. [More]