September 23, 2008

Film-Maker Scouts the Bay

HAWKE'S BAY may be used for scenes of biblical proportions in a new feature film.

Shooting of Kingdom Come, a film about the life of Jesus, will begin in February in locations around New Zealand, including rural Falstone in central Otago, Oamaru and Motueka. Lake Benmore near Falstone will stand in for the Sea of Galilee.

The film, to be produced by Wellington's South Vineyards, will be directed by Dean Wright, a visual effects supervisor on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.

Interior sets are being built at Peter Jackson's Stone Street Studios in Wellington.

Spokesman Ernie Malik said the film-makers were scouting other locations and were considering shooting in Hawke's Bay and other parts of the North Island.

Construction of the biblical village of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee has started at a camping reserve in Falstone. Building will continue till mid-December, with shooting set to start in early February, Mr Malik said.

Several hundred extras will be needed and an announcement on a casting call will be made in several weeks.

Casting is also in hand for the main roles. Mr Malik said cast and other crew announcements would be made shortly.

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