Dunedin-Shanghai film exchanges to resume

Dunedin mayor Jules Radich. Photo: ODT files
Dunedin mayor Jules Radich. Photo: ODT files

Screenwriter exchanges between Dunedin and Shanghai, as well as each city exchanging films to showcase, will soon resume.

A new agreement between Enterprise Dunedin and the Shanghai Film Federation was signed in Shanghai yesterday after Covid-19 had disrupted previous arrangements.

Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich, who is leading a delegation in China, witnessed the ceremony.

"Our creative sector is a key part of our city, and this new agreement will boost international exchanges and film screenings, and hopefully lead to more co-productions involving both cities," he said.

The new memorandum of understanding would restart annual screenwriter exchanges between Dunedin and Shanghai - paused with the arrival of Covid-19 - as well as screenings of films from each city on an alternating basis, the Dunedin City Council said in a statement.

Enterprise Dunedin manager John Christie said the agreement would boost opportunities across the film sector, helping retain and develop the city’s creative talent.

"Since 2017, we’ve hosted a Chinese film festival - and some of China’s biggest film industry figures - in Dunedin, exchanged screenwriters for residencies in both cities, and showcased some of Otepoti’s amazing locations in films screened in Shanghai."

Six Chinese films were screened at New Zealand’s inaugural China Film Festival in Dunedin.

The idea for the China Film Festival came about after presentation of a New Zealand Film Festival in Shanghai in 2016, which included films such as An Angel at My Table and In My Father's Den, both of which were filmed in Otago.