Two New Zealand film-makers, Tim McLachlan and Rajneel Singh, have made it through to the top five in 100% Pure 'Your Big Break' short film competition. And Tourism New Zealand is pretty chuffed with the campaign's success.
The five finalists (the judging panel chose four and the fifth was selected by public vote) will travel to Queenstown, where they will work with Academy Award-winning producer Barrie Osborne, to shoot and direct their own short films to try and capture the essence of the youngest country on Earth (apart from the 33 countries created since 1990).
Post-production will be carried out at Wellington’s Park Road Post Production, with Sir Peter Jackson riding in on a white horse and selecting the overall winner.
Tourism New Zealand attempted to generate interest about New Zealand among its target market in the US, although the campaign also attracted entries from around 1,100 aspiring international directors from 30 countries.
The competition website, where all the entries can be viewed (plenty of both user and loser generated content on offer there), attracted more than two million views between 31 November and 15 January, with over 250,000 visitors watching videos or reading scripts during that time. Each spent an average of 3.5 minutes on the site.
Not surprisingly, new Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler is pretty happy with the results.
"This has been an extremely successful project in terms of the number of entries and web traffic and at the end we will also have five excellent short films capturing New Zealand's scenery, people and culture which will be seen around the world," Kevin Bowler said.
The overall winner will have their film screened prior to the IFC Independent Spirit Awards in the US on 5 March, 2010.
Tourism New Zealand has also just launched a new corporate website that has been developed based on feedback from the New Zealand tourism industry, providing information about Tourism New Zealand's work and giving insights into how offshore markets are performing.
The new site has a simplified design based around six "most used" sections. It also has an expanded and updated 'Markets & Stats' section, more video and image content, an improved search function and a campaigns section, which offers the latest news and results from TNZ's international public relations work, consumer and trade marketing programmes and information about the Rugby World Cup 2011.
There is also an updated and extended 'Marketing Toolbox', which is designed to help operators with their own marketing planning, and an 'Upcoming Events' section with key dates for trade marketing and industry events in New Zealand.