The NZGDA will expand the remit of its annual conference to incorporate the film, screen and interactive media sectors alongside its traditional gaming content. This will strengthen Wellington’s position as a world leader in these fields.
Conference content will be expanded to include feature panels, academic meetings, industry workshops, showcase exhibitions as well as networking events for the gaming, film, television and interactive technology sectors.
NZGDA Chairperson Chelsea Rapp says New Zealand’s interactive media and video games studios earned $276 million in the 2021 financial year, 97 per cent of which came from weightless, digital exports.
“By bringing together all of the participants of the screen sector under one roof, we have an opportunity to improve cross-industry collaborations, co-productions and direct investment in our industries.
“The new public focus also creates an opportunity for everyday New Zealanders to learn about the value of the screen sector, its potential and the pathways for careers in this field.”
The event is planned to evolve over the next three years to increase international attendance and content. Tākina, Wellington’s new Convention and Exhibition Centre, will be its eventual home.
Tākina Commercial Development General Manager David Perks says the partnership will lead to more Aotearoa New Zealand stories being told to global audiences in many content formats.
“The partnership with the NZGDA is tailored made for Tākina which, when it opens in mid-2023, will be a world-class conference centre with state-of-the-art exhibition facilities open to the public.”
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says the evolving convergence of media represents one of the most exciting developments of the 21st Century.
“I congratulate the NZGDA and our screen sector for their foresight in developing this initiative and the strength it brings to our Creative Capital vision.
“There is no doubt we need to actively engage in building a strong collaboration and co-operation platform from which to secure our leadership in the Experience Economy. This partnership does that.”
Tourism New Zealand General Manager Domestic & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says the partnership will greatly benefit New Zealand’s creative digital content sector.
“It shows the potential of business events to act as catalysts for positive social change, from stimulating employment to encouraging economic development.”
Wellington was named a UNESCO City of Film in 2019, recognising the work over the past four decades which built the city’s reputation as a global leader in film, TV and interactive media, alongside a fast-growing, lucrative game development industry.
Wellington is also a knowledge hub for the sector, home to Massey University’s Screen Academy and Victoria University’s Miramar Creative Centre and Computational Media Innovation Centre (CMIC).