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NZFC in war of words with Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson

The NZ Film Commission today hit back at film-maker Peter Jackson, after he said it is not welcome at tonight's premiere of the Lord of the Rings film, The Two Towers. Peter Jackson attacked the Film Commission, after several films were caught in the collapse of Kahukura Productions.

Kahukura was placed into liquidation in May, leaving films including Grant La Hood's Kombi Nation in limbo. In a press release, Jackson says he is disgusted at Film Commission Chairman, Barry Everard's attempt to "wash his hands" of LaHood's film.

Jackson says tonight is about celebrating the achievement of New Zealand talent behind and in front of the cameras.

However, Jackson says it has come "in a year when film crews and suppliers of the independent film industry have been abused and vilified by self serving bureaucrats."

Film Commission chairman Barrie Everard says he did everything possible to secure the release of the films involved, and it's tragic the industry is reduced to this level of vitriol.

He says the whole situation could have been avoided if Jackson's company, The Film Unit, had acknowledged debt problems it was having with Kahukura before its collapse.

He says one phone call from The Film Unit could have avoided the whole sorry mess, and that Jackson has "done little except attempt to throw his weight around".

Everard says it's disappointing that the dispute escalated publicly on the day of The Two Towers premiere.

More than 800 guests will watch The Two Towers at Wellington's Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening, including a number of the trilogy's overseas stars. The city is also turning on a massive street party, featuring live music, acrobats and fireworks. Organisers are expecting Wellingtonians and fans to turn out in similar numbers to last year's event, which attracted around 15000 people.