15 Nov 2013

Film workers demand help for 'ailing' industry

10:40 am on 15 November 2013

The country's screen industry workers say their sector will die unless the Government immediately increases grants for film productions.

About 400 actors, producers and other industry members held a meeting in Auckland on Thursday to discuss what can be done to halt what they are calling a crisis.

Production and post-production companies have already warned work is drying up rapidly.

The forum passed resolutions to set up an industry-wide organisation and press the Government to increase the 15% grant paid to large-scale productions.

Meeting organiser Alex Lee, the acting chair of Film Auckland, says New Zealand's main competitors are the UK and Canada which offer 20% to 30% subsidies.

Dave Rowell, a production accountant and co-owner of Studio West, says he agrees with the Government's view that the industry needs to create more home-grown productions, so it's less reliant on big-budget foreign projects.

But he says without the big productions, those smaller productions simply won't happen.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says there are a number of options to be looked at, but a large increase in the incentive is unlikely to be the answer.