Screen rebate not a handout to Hollywood elites: James Cameron

by Business Desk — 17 November 2023

Renowned filmmaker James Cameron challenged the Act Party’s assertion that the screen rebate merely serves as a subsidy for Hollywood elites. He argued that, in reality, it contributes to the economy. Cameron, known for directing three of the four highest-grossing films in history, served as the keynote speaker at the Screen Production and Development Association (Spada) conference in Wellington on Thursday.

His involvement with New Zealand’s film industry dates back to 2007 when he filmed the first Avatar movie. Reflecting on that experience, Cameron expressed a strong desire to continue working in the country for subsequent films. A decade ago, Cameron played a pivotal role in enhancing the screen production rebate program, raising the incentive for large-scale productions from 15% to 20%, with an additional 5% available for meeting specific criteria. He acknowledged the government’s support then for the rebate program during that period, which led to the proposed uplift.

James Cameron also recently expressed his affection for New Zealand. He disclosed his intention to become a citizen within a year and shared plans to film all of his upcoming projects in the country.

The 69-year-old director, serving as the keynote speaker at Spada’s annual Screen Industry Conference in Wellington, referred to the capital as his home and enthusiastically recounted his experiences in Kiwi life to the audience.

The article is available beyond a paywall here. Read on to find out more about Cameron’s perspective on the incentive debate!

Click here to read on about James Cameron’s plans as a future kiwi!