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New Zealand’s huge footprint in the international film business is way out of proportion to the small size of the island nation, which has served both as a location and effects resource for such gigantic franchises as “Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Avatar.” Spectacular scenery and vfx expertise are bolstered by a 25% cash grant program.

Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is home to master film impresario Peter Jackson, who has powered multiple box office powerhouses to fruition. It’s also the adopted home of James Cameron, who’s now prepping the next three installments of the “Avatar” franchise. Read More.