Premiere a boost for city, says council boss

The bill for the premiere of Two Little Boys will top $100,000, with at least $40,000 coming from the city council.

Invercargill City Council chief executive Richard King said its share would be about $43,000 and would come from the council's surplus.

The Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT) and Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) had contributed $25,000, and ticket sales would cover about $32,000, he said.

The September 11 premiere was confirmed last month, leaving little time to organise it, he said.

"We had about five weeks notice so we had to have somebody here who knew what they were doing. [Organiser Anna Dean] is extremely experienced in that field and we are lucky to have her."

Wellington-based Dean is contracted to the council.

The 35-millimetre projector, brought down from Gore, would cost $19,000 to use.

The main cost was hosting 150 to 200 people, including media, New Zealand Film Commission representatives, the director and producers, Mr King said.

Hosting the premiere would be good publicity for the city, Mr King said.

"The film industry in New Zealand is worth something like $3.2 billion and we are having, in a sense, a good share of that. For some reason this Southland area is becoming quite popular as far as shooting films."

Mayor Tim Shadbolt said films were the best form of promotion.

"They are subliminal. They are not saying ‘we are great, invest in Invercargill, visit us on your next holiday'. They are not an advert," he said.

While the storyline of Two Little Boys was "a bit bogan, I suppose", the scenery was magnificent, he said.

Mr King said part of the popularity of the region was the support from community funders, with the council and ILT each contributing $50,000 to the film, the Community Trust of Southland $75,000 and SIT $200,000 in cash and kind.

"They come down and spend a considerable amount of money in the area and the publicity we get from hosting these films is also equally good."

A full breakdown of costs for the premiere would be available a couple of weeks after, Mr King said.

The Southland Times