Lord of the Rings duo Peter Jackson and Barrie Osborne are reuniting to give young film-makers a three-minute shot at glory.
The Your Big Break initiative was launched by Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton at Jackson's Park Road Post Production headquarters in Wellington yesterday.
The Academy Award-winning director said he wanted to be involved in the project because he thought it was important to encourage the next generation of film-makers. "There has to be a sense of continuation; there has to be somebody who looks at what we're all doing and learns from what we're doing and be inspired by it. It's important that opportunities are ... created to encourage young people."
The competition, which starts on December 9 and is open to anyone around the world, will require contestants to submit a screenplay for a three-minute film.
Four finalists will be selected by an industry panel, including Osborne, who produced the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with the fifth person to be voted by the public.
The finalists will then shoot their short films with Osborne's help. The winning film will be selected by Jackson.
Mr Hickton said the concept would provide emerging film-makers with a chance to make a name for themselves.
"The importance of having two film industry legends involved ... is immense. Their support will help ensure the project is noticed by the world's film industry.
"We are always looking for new ways to talk about New Zealand on the world stage and this project is a perfect fit for our target market."
Osborne was looking forward to returning to New Zealand to help with the project.
"I thought it would be exciting [to be involved]. It was a really innovative and creative thing to try.
"I also love New Zealand and this was a chance to showcase New Zealand."
Tourism New Zealand will spend $2 million on the campaign, half of which will be used by the finalists to make their films.
Film student Royce Goddard, 26, said the concept was a "brilliant" idea.
"Now I just have to find the time to come up with an idea. I will probably get together with a few friends to brainstorm.
"I reckon taking advantage of the summer will be a good concept. It could be a good chance for a road trip."
- The Dominion Post