Wellington counts down to Hobbit party
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Picture: AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher, File.

The countdown has begun to the November 28 world premiere of the first film in Sir Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy and Wellington will rename itself for the occasion.

The capital will play host to the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

To celebrate, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the city will call itself "The Middle of Middle-earth" during the week of the premiere.

"Wellington sits at the very heart of New Zealand's innovative and thriving film industry," Ms Wade-Brown said.

"It's also the city that has been integral in bringing the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien to life on the big screen."

Sir Peter said nowhere else in the world does a film premiere quite like Wellington.

"It's special showing any film to an audience for the first time, but even more so when it's in your home town."

Members of the film's cast, VIPs and Hollywood stars will walk more than 500 metres of red carpet along Courtenay Place to the invite-only premiere at the Embassy Theatre.

Journalists worldwide are expected to converge on Wellington to cover the event.

"Wellington has established a track record of holding stunning world-class red carpet premieres and we're confident the city will turn it on again," Ms Wade-Brown said.

The Wellington City Council is contributing $1.1 million to premiere week activities and celebrations.

The West Australian

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