Dunedin’s Natural History New Zealand is gearing up for the opening of a production facility in China. Scheduled to be up and running by May, it will operate out of News Corp’s existing Beijing offices. (NHNZ is a Fox Television Studios company, making News Corp its parent.) The move opens up a raft of possibilities. ‘To date, the majority of programs about China have had an economic or political focus,’ noted NHNZ managing director Michael Stedman, in a prepared statement. ‘This initiative will expand significantly the range of documentaries and stories about China available to the rest of the world.’
According to Stedman, NHNZ plans to collaborate with local producers on a regular basis. ‘There are some extraordinarily talented filmmakers in China who are working on wonderful projects. We can help them create programming which is unique and which has strong appeal to global audiences. At the same time we can introduce them to western production techniques and storytelling,’ he said. NHNZ will hold workshops and seminars for Chinese doc-makers to facilitate the process. As previously reported in RealScreen Plus (December 13, 2001), the prodco also plans to open a satellite office in Washington, D.C., some time this year.