Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines has qualified for an extra tax rebate in the New Zealand Screen Production Grant programme.
This news coincides with the release of the post-apocalyptic film's first trailer, which comes out today.
Based on Philip Reeve's 2001 book, the movie has been brought to life by New Zealand director Christian Rivers and producers Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson. It stars Kiwi actors Frankie Adams and Joel Tobeck.
The film initially qualified for the 20 per cent tax rebate, as part of the Government's effort to attract large-scale productions to New Zealand.
The additional 5 per cent grant is given only to films that can show significant economic value to New Zealand. Film producers are invited to apply for the grant and must then show they can deliver economic benefit to the country's wider interests.
Other major motion pictures to have received this grant include Avatar, Ghost in the Shell and Pete's Dragon.
Further to the objective of providing wider economic benefit to New Zealand, film producers Universal Pictures, MRC and Hungry City have entered into a partnership with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and Education New Zealand (ENZ) to promote New Zealand's interests beyond Mortal Engines.
This partnership will include a detailed marketing element, designed to promote New Zealand's screen and education interests.
"Mortal Engines gives us the opportunity to profile the New Zealand screen industry on the world stage, including our talented pool of actors, experienced crew, and facilities," says NZFC chief executive Dave Gibson.
"In doing so, this showcases that New Zealand can cater for large-scale, full-service productions."
Principal photography for the film took place over 16 weeks in Wellington this year. The film was shot at Stone Street and Avalon Studios and at a few small local exterior locations.
More than 1000 New Zealanders — including crew, cast and craftspeople— were contracted during the filming of Mortal Engines, accounting for 98 per cent of the total crew.
Locals also featured heavily in front of the camera, with more than 70 per cent of the 50 speaking roles going to New Zealanders.
Given the range of local talent involved in the process, ENZ chief executive Grant McPherson says the partnership with the film presents an opportunity to build awareness of New Zealand as a quality education destination for international students.
"This film was made in New Zealand because of the depth of talent and level of technical sophistication available here," McPherson says.
"This partnership allows us to showcase New Zealand's education strengths in the creative arts, in which we are not just world-class but world-leading, and which offer our graduates global-career opportunities."
The marketing programme will include telling the stories of recent graduates and industry professionals who worked on the film.
A report from Education New Zealand from earlier this year estimated that international students would spend $4.5 billion on fees and living costs over the course of the year, making education one of the nation's most lucrative export industries.