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Special screening of Pete's Dragon

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/08/2016

There's a special screening of the new Hollywood blockbuster Pete's Dragon in the west Otago township of Tapanui this weekend.

The film, which was partially filmed in Tapanui over a four-week period last year, will be screened at the West Otago Community Centre on Saturday as a "thank you" to the community for hosting the film crew and production.

Robert Redford stayed in Queenstown and commuted in a helicopter for filming in Tapanui, locals said.

The screening in Tapanui is free on a first-come first-served basis. Tickets were in such demand a second screening at 5pm will follow the initial screening at 2pm.

Disney hired 20 per cent of the population of Tapanui to work on the film when they were there.

Pete's Dragon is a remake of a 1977 Disney movie about an orphaned boy, Pete, whose best friend is a dragon, and is a mix of live action and CGI.

The film went on general release in the UK and US on Friday, but will not be released in New Zealand until September 15. The movie's New Zealand premiere was in Wellington on Friday.

Director David Lowery's $US65 million ($NZ90 million) remake is a small life raft battling the tides of Hollywood's bromidic mainstream output, according to the review in The Huffington Post. It's a cathartic tearjerker.

Another four-and-a-half weeks of filming took place in Rotorua and Tokoroa and four weeks in Wellington both in Stone Street Studios in Miramar and in locations such as Hutt Hospital and Battle Hill Farm Forest Park in Porirua.

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