Hundreds of girls turned out in Rotorua last weekend to audition for Finding the Face, the city's search to find a girl to front a series of television commercials promoting the region.
Destination Rotorua Marketing last month launched the search for a local girl aged between 8 and 16 to front the campaign. About 300 hopefuls turned out at the Convention Centre to audition.
A professional casting agency held a two-day registration process, which included photographing and filming girls, who displayed a range of skills, such as kapa haka, speech, drama and dance.
Casting director Neill Rae said he was impressed with the calibre of those who registered.
"There's always a level of nervousness with auditions, so we held candid conversations on camera with the girls, to reveal their natural spark. There's a fantastic pool of talent in this region, and for one young Rotorua girl this is the perfect opportunity to showcase these talents on a national stage.''
Lynmore Primary School student 11-year-old Sophie Bell said she thought she'd give it a go.
"I love summer on the lakes waterskiing and camping all around here. I thought I'd be quite good at auditioning because we have to do speeches at school and I've been on the school radio before _ I would love to be the face of Rotorua,'' she said.
Finding the Face is the next phase of Famously Rotorua, a domestic marketing campaign aimed at re-engaging Kiwis with Rotorua.
Destination Rotorua Marketing general manager Oscar Nathan said the commercial _ scheduled for March 2013 _ would be vital in showcasing Rotorua.
"This young person will be an integral part in the next phase of the Famously Rotorua campaign because it's going to be their job to educate Kiwis about our famous tourism legacy, while also revealing the fresh and unexpected experiences the city now has to offer,'' he said.
A shortlist of 40 girls will be invited to final auditions scheduled to take place this weekend.