It appears another Hollywood production is set to take advantage of Whanganui as a filming location just weeks after a star-studded cast of a separate production wrapped up filming in the region.
The Chronicle understands the film is to be set in the 19th century, with parts of Ridgway St to be blocked off and turned into a set in early May.
Whanganui District Council's economic development arm Whanganui & Partners has posted a casting call on behalf of a company named Dancing Pictures, asking for locals interested in applying for a role as an extra in a "feature film".
"On behalf of Dancing Pictures, Film Whanganui is putting out the call for extras and stand-ins for a feature film shooting in the Whanganui region from 26th April for 2-3 weeks," its social media post said.
But a Whanganui & Partners spokesperson said they could not provide any more detail on the advertisement, only to say that they had been working closely with the production company to bring the project to Whanganui.
Film Whanganui is the regional film office established in 2020 by Whanganui & Partners to attract productions to the region.
Included in the post were contact details for a Dancing Pictures employee involved in the casting, instructing interested applicants to call or email.
That person would not provide any information other than to say she was working for a New Zealand registered company.
According to the Companies Register, Dancing Pictures Limited was registered in New Zealand two months ago, and has United States-based production company A24 Films listed as its ultimate holding company.
A24 Films is the production company behind renowned films such as Moonlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016.
More recently, A24 was the company behind the film X, which spent almost two months filming in Whanganui at a property near Fordell, believed to have wrapped up two weeks ago.
The film also spent time filming on the Whanganui City Bridge on State Highway 3, and outside a war memorial hall near Ohakea.
The star-studded cast, including Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow and rapper Kid Cudi, have now returned to the United States according to posts on their social media.
It is not known what this new project is called, or whether the cast is yet in New Zealand.
One Ridgway St business-owner told the Chronicle he had been approached by someone who said they were working on the film, asking him if he would be comfortable allowing his property to be used.
Critical worker exemption granted
In February, Immigration New Zealand confirmed to the Chronicle that 14 cast and crew members for the A24 production X were granted entry to New Zealand under the "other critical worker" border exemption.
The application was made by Powder Keg Farms Limited, a company registered in New Zealand in September last year, with A24 Films also listed as the parent company.
Of the five company directors listed on the filing, four have United States addresses, while one is a Wellington-based location scout, well-known in the film industry both in New Zealand and overseas.
These are the same five directors as Dancing Pictures Limited, the company registered to be working on the soon-to-begin production.
Immigration New Zealand on Thursday confirmed an exemption had been granted to Dancing Pictures for one critical worker.
It is not yet known if this person is yet in the country, or if any applications were made that were denied.