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New Zealand Films

New Zealand has a great reputation for skilled film making professionals, and some of the best locations in the world for the making of movies.
With the Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Zealand has jumped into the world movie limelight.

The movies in this section are most of the classic and history making New Zealand movies. 
From the cult classics of Peter Jackson to the early works from Roger Dondaldson, Peter Murphy, Jane Campion, Vincent Ward and actor Sam Neill. 
There are many other good New Zealand films, but all of the selection here give you a great cross section of New Zealand life through the ages, along with the fantastic scenery.


Although films have been made in New Zealand since the 1920s, it was only from the 1970s that New Zealand films began to be produced in significant numbers. Films such as Sleeping Dogs and Goodbye Pork Pie achieved local success and launched the careers of actors and directors including Sam Neill, Geoff Murphy and Roger Donaldson.

In the early 1990s, New Zealand films such as Jane Campion's Academy Award-winning film The Piano, Lee Tamahori's Once Were Warriors and Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures began to garner international acclaim. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in New Zealand, using a mostly New Zealand crew and many New Zealand actors in minor parts. Whale Rider, originally a novel by Witi Ihimaera, was produced in 2002 and received recognition from various festivals and awards. Many non-New Zealand productions, primarily from Hollywood but also from Bollywood, have been made in New Zealand.

Film industry insiders are divided on whether this benefits or harms the New Zealand film industry; however some New Zealand actors, such as Lucy Lawless (Xena) have clearly benefitted from these overseas productions.


Please give us your thoughts on any New Zealand films for users of this page.

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