Government's $70 million lifeline for New Zealand film and TV industry

The Government has handed a $73 million lifeline to New Zealand's film and TV industry, which has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday's funding boost will cover new and existing projects and is expected to save thousands of jobs.

While many people heralded the resurrection of high-profile movie Avatar last month, most of New Zealand's domestic film industry remains in lockdown.

"There were 47 films in production at various stages before COVID lockdown, but only one has started up again," Dame Kerry Prendergast, chair of NZ Film Commission, said.

The $3 billion, 16,000 job industry was at serious risk of a dramatic shrinking but after continued pleas, they netted a huge multi-million dollar cash injection.

Kelly Martin, the producer of the upcoming Robyn Malcolm film This Town says it's "amazing".

"It's fantastic that the Government is acknowledging the screen sector needs support," Martin said.

There are hundreds of films and series in various stages of production and $23 million will go to helping them get to the finish line.

"To start a film again you've got to get the scaffolding back, the lighting back, the food started, the actors accomodation all of those things cost money," she said.

The other $50 million is for up to five new local movies or tv series.

The funding follows $140 million announced in the budget for international productions like Avatar and an upcoming Lord of the Rings television series but there's still a lot to work out in terms of today's domestic announcement.

"Getting the approval process and the application process sorted and having that move quite quickly will be good for everyone," Martin said.

Including viewers by ensuring good local content continues.