Spotlight on Kiwi film The Power of the Dog

A New Zealand delegation has headed to Los Angeles to lift the profile of our screen sector as Kiwi co-production The Power of the Dog goes up against the world’s best for the Academy Awards.

“On behalf of the whole country we are sending best wishes to director Dame Jane Campion and the entire cast and crew, as the film shapes up as one of the strongest contenders for an Oscar,” said Carmel Sepuloni.

“Dame Jane has pulled off a stunning achievement with this film and its 12 nominations. We are so proud of her record-breaking first, as the only female director nominated twice for Best Director.”

“As we reconnect New Zealand to the world, the head of the NZ Film Commission has headed to L.A. to further strengthen relationships with studio executives, secure new productions, and share the message that Aotearoa New Zealand is open for business.

“While there David Strong will also meet with studios, major production companies and streamers, and undertake business development for potential U.S. productions to come to New Zealand.

“Reconnecting New Zealand to the world is a pivotal part of our response to the pandemic, and secures the recovery for sectors like the arts and film industry. Visibility at this prestigious event will help promote our film industry on the international stage.

“Even before the ceremony begins, on behalf of the whole country we congratulate Dame Jane for her success in getting this far, and for creating a darkly spellbinding film on the way,” said Carmel Sepuloni.

“New Zealand can be proud of our creative sector and screen industry, and local workers and businesses from locations all over New Zealand who helped make this film happen. It is a firm favourite,” said Stuart Nash.

“The movie was part-financed by government. It has been worth every cent. The investment of just over $8 million not only made good economic sense, it has been rewarded by the Oscar nominations, which recognise the peak of global filmmaking.

“Twelve Academy Award nominations are a huge vote of confidence in the technical and artistic talents we have in this country. It proves we have a world class film industry and are a highly desirable place to make screen productions.

“Investment came from the government’s Domestic Screen Production Grant and NZ Film Commission funds. The production saw an estimated $28 million spent locally at a time when the economy was reeling from the first outbreak of COVID19.

“Filmed entirely in New Zealand, The Power of the Dog is a New Zealand-Australian co-production which employed hundreds of Kiwis including 328 crew, 290 extras and 28 cast. Filming took place over 50 shooting days, with 17 weeks of pre-production.

“It was shot on locations including Dunedin Railway Station, a farm in Hawkdun Ranges in Maniototo, the Ida Valley, the Victorian Precinct in Oamaru, Queenstown, and studios in Auckland.

“We also offer best wishes and congratulations to Wētā Digital and Sean Walker who are nominated for Best Visual Effects for Marvel’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

“The Film Commission delegation in L.A. has one story to tell the US film industry – we are open for business and we are amongst the world’s best,” said Stuart Nash.

By the numbers:

Academy Awards: The Power of the Dog is nominated for 12 award categories:

  • Director
  • Picture
  • Actor
  • Supporting Actor (two)
  • Supporting Actress
  • Adapted Screenplay
  • Achievement in Sound
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Original score
  • Production Design

Other awards: The Power of the Dog has already raked in an impressive haul of awards from other ceremonies, including:

  • BAFTAs – Best Film, Best Director
  • The Critic’s Choice Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography
  • The Directors Guild of America – Outstanding Directorial Achievement
  • The Golden Globes – Best Director, Best Drama, Best Supporting Actor
  • The Venice Film Festival – Silver Lion - Best Director