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Germany

Germany, NZ Sign Film Production Pact

New Zealand and Germany on Wednesday signed a film co-production agreement allowing moviemakers to tap into lucrative cinema subsidy funds in both countries. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and visiting German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer signed the agreement, which will establish a joint commission of film. Television and video industry officials are expected to make the most of the pact. The deal means that a New Zealand-German co-production will count as a "national film" in each country, qualifying for funding from both national film commissions and local distribution incentives. To qualify as a co-production, films will require at least 20 percent involvement from both New Zealand and Germany in the performing, technical, artistic and creative areas. New Zealand's film industry has spawned a handful of international hits and served as the backdrop for the blockbuster "Lord of the Rings" trilogy by home-grown filmmaker Peter Jackson, which sparked a tourism boom. Separately, Fischer and his New Zealand counterpart Phil Goff signed an agreement lifting the limit on the number of young Germans who can take working holidays in New Zealand and vice versa.

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