Wellington: First City in NZ to be named an International City of Film by UNESCO

New Zealand’s coolest capital, Wellington, has just been named an international City of Film by UNESCO. Wellington is the first city in New Zealand to be designated this title and one of only 17 globally, making them part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Incredible films which have been made in Wellington include Avatar, Planet of the Apes and of course Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies. However, as stated by Andy Foster, the Mayor of Wellington, this accolade also “recognizes the vibrancy of our entire film community. We’re a place that flocks to events like the New Zealand International Film Festival, the Māoriland Film festival, 48 Hour Film Festival and Roxy5, we have a strong screen education sector and a very talented creative community.”

Take a tour through Wellington’s filmmaking history by exploring the following locations where the magic of the movies has been brought to life:
– Wellington Airport: As soon as you land be immediately immersed in Welly’s filmmaking history. Greeting you in the arrival hall are three massive Middle-earth giants – Gandalf and the eagles, Gollum and his fishes, and Smaug the dragon.

– Thunderbirds Are Go Behind the Scenes Experience: Visit the Thunderbirds Are Go shooting stage at Weta Workshop and discover the genuine props, models and miniatures behind the modern-day remake of this popular television series.
– Weta Cave & Weta Studio Tour: The first stop for film buffs and LOTR fans, Weta Cave is the shop front of the multiple Oscar-winning Weta Workshop, the brainchild of Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor.
– Stone Street Studios: Co-owned by the Oscar-winning trio of Sir Peter Jackson, Sir Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk, Stone Street Studios’ facilities were extensively used by New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers for the production of The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Hobbit Trilogy.

– Park Road Post Production: Developed by Sir Peter Jackson for filmmakers, it houses a unique combination of services; from a world-class laboratory, through telecine, digital intermediate and HD post-production, to Academy Award® winning sound post-production.

– Victoria Street: Wellington doubled for a futuristic version of Hong Kong in the film adaptation of acclaimed Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell. Shot at Stone Street Studios, Avalon Studios and on location at Victoria Street in the central city, it was the first time urban New Zealand had been showcased as a sci-fi setting on the silver screen.

– Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa: The film community make their mark on Wellington not just through movies, but also through their art. Izzat Design, whose artists created props for films such as Avatar, The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, has contributed to a range of exhibitions at Te Papa, including recreating seven extinct birds of New Zealand for the Blood, Earth, Fire exhibition.

– Lyall Bay: A cliff face by Lyall Bay, a popular surf beach along Wellington’s rugged South Coast, was the setting for Dunharrow in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. On their days off during filming Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) learned to surf at Lyall Bay.

Source: UNESCO

THE TWO POPES Trailer Starring Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins

From Fernando Meirelles, the Academy Award-nominated director of “City of God,” and three-time Academy Award nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, comes an intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years.


Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church.

Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world. *Inspired by true events


Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce as Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in The Two Popes. The Two Popes launches on Netflix on December 20 with exclusive theatrical engagements beginning December 5.

Source: Netflix

LANDMARK by Lexus – The Inaugural Premier Design Project, Exclusive to Australia's Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Infusing Lexus’ Japanese values of warmth and hospitality, with design inspirations taken from Australia’s rich native landscape, luxury lifestyle brand Lexus has proudly unveiled plans for Australia’s premier design project over the course of the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival, LANDMARK by Lexus – formerly known as the Lexus Design Pavilion.

With the Japanese brand value, ‘Omotenashi’ (meaning to wholeheartedly look after and anticipate guests needs) guiding every touch point of the project, Lexus places the spirit of hospitality, warmth and an unwavering commitment to design and innovation at the heart of the concept.

Transporting guests into the world of Lexus, over the course of the week, a team of world-class collaborators come together to present a brave and immersive experience across a three-level structure that pays homage to all-things Australian, and culminates in the celebration of the Lexus Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation.

‘We are dedicated to creating amazing experiences and memories for our customers, this creation of LANDMARK by Lexus is our pledge to progressive luxury where people can experience the Lexus lifestyle without getting behind the wheel of one of our cars. For us, LANDMARK by Lexus encapsulates this philosophy’ says Lexus Australia Chief Executive, Scott Thompson.

The focal point of LANDMARK by Lexus will be the Australian-first prototype reveal of the new luxurious Lexus LC Convertible – a daring and highly sought-after vehicle of brave design, defined by a strikingly curvaceous, aerodynamic body and athletic proportions.

Complementary to the design of the largest ever-seated dining room within a Birdcage pavilion, the 90-seater level three restaurant will be directed by emerging Australian chefs, Matt Stone & Jo Barrett of hatted restaurant, Oakridge in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Stone says, of the four-course menu that patrons can, ‘expect to see Australian native flavours coupled with the vibrancy of re-purposed spring produce that will give life to food that would otherwise be wasted’.

Guests on level two can expect a casual culinary offering as they peer across the expansive balcony to the uninterrupted views of the sweeping track. Here, long-term Lexus Ambassador and renowned Australian chef, Neil Perry, will be on-site creating bento boxes using only premium produce, served in reusable wooden boxes that guests can take home.

First-time Lexus Melbourne Cup collaborators Eazy Peazy, will also work alongside the Lexus Ambassador to serve hot barbeque classics crafted from fresh seasonal ingredients using a Japanese hibachi grill, following a minimal food wastage concept.

Exclusive to LANDMARK by Lexus throughout the carnival is the automotive brands influential cast of Ambassadors, including racing royalty Emma Freedman and Kate Waterhouse, two-time Melbourne Cup wining jockey Corey Brown, media personality and businesswoman Megan Gale, world-renowned chef Neil Perry, former NRL player Anthony Minichiello, and professional golfer, Dimitrios Papadatos.

Source: Lexus

Main Trailer Debut - The Crown Season 3

The third season of The Crown sees a new guard sweep into Downing Street, as Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family struggle to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing Britain.

From cold-war paranoia, through to the jet-set and the space age – the exuberance of the 1960s and the long hangover of the 1970s – Elizabeth and the Royals must adapt to a new, more liberated, but also more turbulent world.

Written by Peter Morgan, The Crown also stars Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as The Duke of Edinburgh, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Ben Daniels as Lord Snowdon, Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten.

Source: Netflix


The spectacular seven-week Everest Carnival, featuring over $40 million in prizemoney, led by the world’s richest turf race, the $14 million The TAB Everest and the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle, officially launched this morning, with a stylish Champagne brunch for media and the who’s who of racing and fashion at Royal Randwick.

To mark the event, official ATC Racing Ambassador, Seven Racing Expert and former Group 1 Jockey, Katelyn Mallyon, recreated today’s Daily Telegraph shot wearing a beautiful Velani flowing dress on-top of rearing retired racehorse Mr Bean, dazzling guests.

Hosted by TAB’s, Gerard Middleton, the Everest Carnival launch was held at Pony Palms, a new Palm Springs-inspired oasis where Sydney’s first trackside pool was unveiled along with high-profile DJ acts including house duo, Yolanda Be Cool, the finest in hospitality offerings featuring custom built bars by Heineken, Chandon, all-new poolside private cabanas and the Colgate Optic White Smile Studio.

Official Everest Carnival Ambassadors and Channel Seven’s Home And Away stars, James Stewart and Sarah Roberts attended alongside racing elite including Peter Snowden, winning co-trainer of the last two Everest editions with Redzel, Godolphin Head Trainer, James Cummings, Sydney Premiership Winning Jockey, James McDonald, famed chef partner of The Estate, Guillaume Brahimi, and a plethora of style leaders including Everest Carnival stylist, Jess Pecoraro, star milliners Nerida Winter and Viktoria Novak and official ATC Beauty Expert, Michael Brown.

This morning’s Champagne brunch further showcased the abundance of new activations and precincts that Everest Carnival racegoers can look forward to such as The Estate the ultimate destination for corporate and VIP guests at the races, TAB Country Club featuring croquet, custom-built Heineken bars and a big screen; Harrolds Fashion Chute featuring a photography studio and glam beauty touch-ups by Runway Room.

On display for guests to admire was this year’s $437,000 Everest trophy, designed by renowned jeweller Nic Cerrone featuring 7777 black diamonds symbolising the increasingly high stakes of the impressive 1200m event and the exhilarating Carnival atmosphere across coming weeks.

Guests tasted treats from Guillaume Brahimi’s The Estate menu including a spanner crab sandwich with coriander mayonnaise, sausage rolls with truffle, and jamon and gruyere toasties. All of these delicacies were accompanied by Moet & Chandon served in the iconic Moet goblets.

Jamie Barkley, ATC Chief Executive Officer said the Australian Turf Club is thrilled to welcome in the 2019 Everest Carnival, which commences with Colgate Optic White Stakes Day on Saturday 21 September.

“The Australian Turf Club is incredibly excited to launch the 2019 Everest Carnival, especially with a lucrative new spring program and many new offerings for racegoers including The Estate featuring The Manor and The Conservatory, Pony Palms, TAB Country Club, and elevated Harrolds Fashion Chute.

“We are much more than just horseracing we are a destination that offers a complete entertainment experience, including world-class racing, hospitality and fashion like no other in Sydney.

“The Everest Carnival has experienced significant growth year-on-year since inception three years ago and we look forward to welcoming all guests trackside.”

The third annual Everest Carnival is shaping up to be bigger than ever this year, championed by the world’s richest race on turf, the $14 million The TAB Everest on Saturday 19 October and the inaugural Golden Eagle Day at Rosehill Gardens worth $7.5 million on Saturday 2 November.

Source: Australian Turf Club