National Film Unit
The National Film Unit (NFU) was a state-owned film production organisation in New Zealand. Founded in 1941, it mostly produced newsreels, documentaries and promotional films about New Zealand, and for many years was the only significant film production facility in the country. Many people who were later prominent in the development of the modern New Zealand film industry were trained by the NFU.
The NFU was established during war with the brief to provide war-time information and propaganda to further the war effort. During war, the NFU's output focussed on the production of the Weekly Review, a weekly magazine-style film journal that was distributed for free to New Zealand's cinemas. Further, it produced short documentaries about the war effort.
After the end of the war in 1945, the NFU continued with a renewed focus on "educational film" for domestic audiences as well as the projection of a favourable image of New Zealand overseas, particularly for tourism promotion as well as, to lesser extent, to attract immigrants and investment and to further trade.
When the NFU was privatised in the 1990s, it was purchased by TVNZ for a paltry NZD3m. When staff were told of the sale price, the triumphant management and government officials seemed somewhat surprised to be treated with a collective gasp followed by a "slow clap". TVNZ later sold it to film-maker Peter Jackson and later renamed Park Road Post upon completion of new facilities.
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