Cheers for house cameo role

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Applause broke out in the Metro Cinema when Fletcher House appeared on screen in the opening scenes of The Light Between Oceans, in a private premiere of the film on Tuesday night hosted by the Otago Peninsula Trust. Audience members adorned in jewellery, boas and black ties arrived on the red carpet for the highly anticipated event. The international coproduction, directed by Derek Cianfrance, was partly filmed in Dunedin in 2014. It features locations such as the former Dunedin Prison building, areas of Port Chalmers, an office in the Allied Press building in lower Stuart St, Portobello Rd and Fletcher House in Broad Bay.
The film tells the story of a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander), who discover a baby in a washed-up dinghy and raise it as their own.
Otago Peninsula Trust manager Jo Severinsen said it was great to see Dunedin being showcased to the world and exciting to see scenes of Fletcher House ‘‘first and foremost’’ in the film. ‘‘We’re quite humbled. It’s a huge international film and Dunedin is a part of that.’’
The trust hoped the film would bring more visitors to the area, and could be used as a marketing tool for Fletcher House, she said. Film tourism consultant Stefan Rosche has been discussing with Enterprise Dunedin how best to harness the film’s potential to attract more film productions as well as more tourists to Dunedin. ‘‘The main problem is that the story actually takes place in Australia, which makes it a bit different,’’ Dr Rosche said. Harnessing the film’s potential for tourism could be done by using it as an ‘‘emotional vehicle’’ to draw people to Dunedin. Dr Rosche, who had not seen the film by The Star’s publication deadline, said its potential for tourism would depend upon how often certain locations appeared in the film and their emotional hooks. ‘‘The bottom line is that a big movie always means exposure to a place, free exposure,’’ he said. He completed a PhD in film tourism at the University of Otago and went on to open his own consultancy company. ‘‘I realised there was a real lack of knowledge in the industry about that topic [film tourism] and a need for people to be educated,’’ he said. Despite the film being set in Australia, those who fell in love with the film and the locations would find out it was largely filmed in New Zealand, Dr Rosche said.
The Light Between Oceans had another private screening at the Rialto last night and opens to the public today.