To mark the 40th anniversary of the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Screen brings us the stories behind some of our most notable local films.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a watershed moment in New Zealand film (and tourism) history. It is considered to be one of the biggest and most ambitious film projects ever undertaken.

The journey began with The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of the high fantasy adventure films that brought Peter Jackson's talents to a mass international audience and went on to win four Oscars.

In The Two Towers, Frodo Baggins continued his mission across the lands of Middle-earth to destroy the ring, and the second film went on to out-gross the first. The final instalment, The Return of the King boldly upped the ante and sealed Peter Jackson's place in movie legend, while bagging a staggering 11 Oscars.


Here, Academy Award-winning costume designer, Ngila Dickson, talks about the importance of the Lord of the Rings fantasy worlds having authenticity.

You can watch the original trailers for The Lord of the Rings trilogy here: