6 December 2018 at 9:00 am

New Zealand’s education strengths in creative arts showcased in new blockbuster film Mortal Engines


WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND. The global release of epic film Mortal Engines, starting in several key markets including New Zealand today, is providing a unique opportunity to highlight New Zealand’s education strengths in creative arts, further boosting New Zealand’s reputation as a pre-eminent international education destination.

Education New Zealand (ENZ) and the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) partnered with Universal Pictures, MRC and Hungry City Limited on the film as part of the New Zealand Screen Production Grant 5% uplift.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson says this partnership is an opportunity to build awareness of New Zealand as having a world-leading education system, with strengths in the creative industries.

“Mortal Engines marks a real shift in the New Zealand story we want to tell the world,” Mr McPherson says.

 “This film was made in New Zealand not because of the beauty of our landscapes but because of the depth of talent and level of technical sophistication available here,” Mr McPherson says.

“We know that our world-leading tertiary education providers are playing a key role in the health of our creative sector.

“The partnership allows us to showcase New Zealand’s education offering in the creative arts and supports our reputation as a modern, dynamic and innovative country.”

He welcomed the opportunity for ENZ to tell the stories of recent graduates and industry professionals who worked on Mortal Engines through an integrated promotional campaign, which will kick off in January 2019.

“This includes sharing our country’s story across Education New Zealand’s one-million-strong social community, our email database of 150,000 prospective students, the Study in New Zealand website, worldwide PR, events and other in-market activity,” he says.

Director Christian Rivers has said the filmmakers and studios chose New Zealand to film Mortal Engines due to its world class crew, talent, technicians and facilities.

“It’s a testament to the skill, talent and imagination of New Zealand crews that they are able to completely fabricate these other worlds that have never been seen before. Our crews are extraordinary.”

Principal photography took place over 16 weeks in Wellington, New Zealand in early 2017. The film was shot at Stone Street and Avalon Studios and at a few small local exterior locations. Post production was completed by Park Road Post Production with visual effects work being realised by Academy-Award winning company Weta Digital.

More than 1000 New Zealanders including crew, cast and craftspeople were contracted during principal photography. Nearly all of the Heads of Departments were Kiwis, as were 98% of the crew. New Zealand-educated former international students also worked on the film.

McPherson says an increasing number of international students are choosing to study creative arts subjects in New Zealand – 5,139 in 2017, up 24% on 2012. Mortal Engines, and connected activity led by Education New Zealand, is expected to grow the numbers of international students choosing New Zealand for our creative industries education offering.

The value of international education to New Zealand was $5.1 billion in 2017.

Notes to editors:

Recent New Zealand-educated graduates who worked on Mortal Engines ranged from an assistant props designer who had studied Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington to an apprentice editor who had studied at South Seas Film School in Auckland; both were employed by Hungry City Limited.

Other graduates who worked for Weta Digital included a film editor with a Bachelor of Digital Design from Auckland University of Technology, a visual special effects (VFX) capture booth photographer who had studied animation at Yoobee School of Design, and an American international student who studied a Master of Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington and went on to work as an Effects Technical Director.

About Education New Zealand

Education New Zealand (ENZ) is New Zealand’s government agency for international education. ENZ works to grow awareness of New Zealand as a study destination and to support New Zealand education providers and businesses to take their services and products abroad. For more information see www.enz.govt.nz

About the 5% uplift

International productions are eligible for a grant rebate of 20 percent of qualifying New Zealand production expenditure. This is administered by the New Zealand Film Commission. An additional 5 per cent grant is available to applicants who demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand, recognising that screen productions can raise New Zealand’s profile internationally, attract high value tourists, international students and profile innovative and creative people and technologies.

Media Contact
Kate Barlow
Senior Communications Advisor
Education New Zealand
021 525 387

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