Peter Jackson to judge NZ tourism crowdsourcing campaign

LONDON - Aspiring filmmakers have the chance of getting 'Lord of the Rings' director Peter Jackson to watch some of their work in a new competition to promote tourism in New Zealand.

Jackson, a native New Zealander famous for films like 'King Kong' and 'The Lovely Bones', is to be one of the judges of the 100% Pure New Zealand short film competition, which will see five finalists flown out to New Zealand to shoot and direct their own three-minute shorts.

Judging entries along with Jackson are some of the team he worked with on the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, including executive producer Barrie Osborne.

The competition, called Your Big Break, begins with a visit to the dedicated website, where a brief can be downloaded. The site also includes advice from Jackson and links to footage that may inspire writers.

Entrants must write a screenplay for a three-minute film that they feel captures the spirit of New Zealand. Submissions can be made starting on 9 December and must be in by 15 January. After that, four of the finalists will be chosen via a panel of experts, including Osborne, and a fifth will be chosen by the public.

The five completed three-minute films will then be viewed and judged by Peter Jackson and the winning film will run on US television in 2010.

There is also a Facebook group and a Twitter feed devoted to the competition, following in the footsteps of this year's 'Best Job In The World' campaign for Tourism Queensland.

George Hickton, chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, said: "'Your Big Break' is asking people to capture the essence of 100% Pure New Zealand and tell the world their story of how they see the youngest country on earth.

"The importance of having two film industry legends involved with Your Big Break is immense. Their support will help ensure the project is noticed by the world's film industry, give it international reach and, we hope, result in some great stories."

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