New Zealand film started to gain international recognition in the 1990s with the release of the three time Academy Award movie 'The Piano' directed by Jane Campion. Another New Zealand hit around that time was Lee Tamahori's 'Once Were Warriors' a no holes barred movie about domestic violence. A young film maker by the name of Peter Jackson directered 'Heavenly Creatures' which won international critical acclaim at film festivals and was one of the best-received films of 1994. He later became a house-hold name when he directed the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy which won seventeen Oscars and was nominated for thirteen other Academy Awards. The third installment of that trilogy 'The Return of the King' won eleven Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture. It equaled the Oscar record with Ben Hur and Titanic.
Peter Jackson later directed King Kong, Tin Tin, and The Hobbit trilogy among other movies and film.
Both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit promoted the stunning landscapes of New Zealand to the world. Air New Zealand and a number of tour companies used this free world-wide exposure to promote the country in their advertising campaigns and tours.
Another name to rival Peter Jackson in New Zealand is Weta Digital. This company has won a number of Academy Awards for their cutting edge visual effects over the last couple of decades. Movies that Weta has worked on include: The Jungle Book, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Fantastic Five, Planet of the Apes, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hobbit, The Wolverine, Man of Steel, Avatar, and Lord of the Rings. The list is just too long to mention everything, but 'Avatar' was arguably the most notable for visual effects.
Another New Zealander in the film industry is New Zealand director Andrew Adamson the man behind Shrek and Narnia movies. Narnia featured New Zealand's landscapes including forests, coastal scenes, alpine plateaus, and rolling countryside, although it was less recognised as being New Zealand compared to the impact that Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit had on national tourism.