Film including Dunedin’s best Big Apple impression out today

Izzy runs her own hair salon and has no trouble speaking her mind; Prince Thomas runs his own country and is about to marry for duty rather than love.

It is the plot of a new Netflix romance, The Royal Treatment, which was filmed in Otago and is being released internationally today.

The film stars American actress and singer Laura Marano (Austin & Ally, The Perfect Date) and Egyptian-born Canadian actor Mena Massoud, who starred in Aladdin in 2019.

It tells the story of Prince Thomas (Massoud) who is set to marry in an arranged royal marriage, and Izzy (Marano), a Manhattan hairdresser who gets a golden opportunity to do his hair for the wedding.

As the story unfolds, they learn that taking control of their own destiny requires following their hearts, and the two fall in love.

Filming took place in February and March last year, and the film has images of Dunedin’s Vogel St with set decoration and digital enhancements to make it look like New York City.

Larnach Castle stands in for the royal residence of the fictional country of Lavania, and features Olveston House for the interior scenes.

Digital enhancement makes Dunedin’s Vogel St look like New York City in the new Netflix romance...
Digital enhancement makes Dunedin’s Vogel St look like New York City in the new Netflix romance The Royal Treatment, which is being released internationally today. PHOTO: NETFLIX
The University of Otago, the Fable Hotel, Oamaru’s Victorian precinct and various private residences also feature.

Locally, the film created income and experience for nearly 70 crew members from Dunedin and the surrounding areas, and simultaneously provided a boost to the accommodation and hospitality sector, generating 4500 bed nights in Dunedin and Oamaru.

The film also employed 30 New Zealand actors and generated 1000 days of work for extras who were largely sourced from Dunedin and Oamaru.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the film showcased the city to a global audience via the world’s biggest streaming service.

"I’m sure it will inspire many viewers to visit Dunedin in the future.

"It has also demonstrated the city’s capacity to host international productions, building on our reputation as a film-friendly city among the key industry players."

Film Otago Southland co-ordinator Antony Deaker said there had recently been "solid interest" from other international film companies to shoot productions in the region, and he hoped to be able to confirm the next one next month.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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