Focus Areas

The over-arching vision of Wellington UNESCO City of Film is to contribute to a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive screen sector and city

students in studio on virtual reality

We aim to celebrate, explore and build a bicultural foundation through five key focus areas - Rangatahi (youth), Māori storytellers, technology, diversity and the Pacific.

Students in the city taking photos with friends


Rangatahi (youth) are our future leaders and storytellers. The Wellington UNESCO City of Film will provide an opportunity to uplift and amplify the voices of the next generation of creatives.

Today’s youth adopt and adapt to new technologies - they are already engaged in creating and consuming a range of visual and digital content. We can provide opportunities to develop storytelling skills, to engage audiences with their passions, concerns and ideas.

It will help grow the next generation of globally aware and connected leaders through screen literacy, knowledge and cultural exchange programmes, co-designed with rangatahi to ensure buy-in.

These programmes will also show Wellington’s youth that a creative life and living is possible in Wellington.

Māori storytellers

Supporting and promoting Māori film makers through the Wellington UNESCO City of Film will illuminate and celebrate our identity and culture.

There are many talented Māori screen creatives active in Wellington, but barriers to inclusion and a sustainable career still exist. Removing those barriers and supporting Māori to advance, produce and exhibit their films is essential.

The stories, either contemporary, ancient or both, brought to us via film or other screen technologies help us to connect with, and understand, who we are as New Zealanders.

There is a strong history and legacy of Māori films and film makers in New Zealand. We have much to learn from revisiting these works and exploring the stories of who and how they were brought to light.

LED screens at Avalon studios


Wellington is already a world leader in immersive and interactive technology, and with our Creative Cities network we will take this story to the world.

The exponential growth in screen technology has expanded the way we make and interact with visual stories. Interactive and immersive screen technologies already contribute to advancements beyond storytelling.

This is an opportunity to explore new ways to use screen technology to enhance our world and contribute to a more sustainable, liveable city.

It’s all about how local visual storytellers connect us to our culture and our place in the world

Mayor Andy Foster


There has been an increase in the value and appreciation of diverse perspectives in communities, and in storytelling, but there remains a lack of diversity in access to the industry and representation on screen.

There is an emerging appetite for authentic storytelling that comes from lived experiences. Too often stories are told about communities without their input – this can perpetuate negative stereotypes and further reduce opportunities.

We need to ensure the next generation of screen creatives are as diverse as our community. We need to amplify diverse stories made for and by diverse communities.

Students filming in front of a green screen

The Pacific

Film makers from the Pacific region – our extended whānau – are supported to tell their stories on the world stage.

Through UNESCO there is an opportunity for New Zealand to better understand and connect with its place in the Pacific.

Pacific nations are uniquely linked to New Zealand through migrated communities and there are opportunities to connect to our wider sub-Pacific region through knowledge sharing and storytelling.

Wellington City of Film, in partnership with Wellington’s Pasifika community, can help widen access to skills and technology to amplify the stories and storytellers of the Pacific.