Local film industry continuing to grow, TNRD Film Commissioner says

Growing local film industry

Sydney Chisholm

More than a few Hollywood block busters, including Jurassic World: Dominion, Power Rangers and the A-Team were filmed in and around the Tournament Capital and according to the region’s film commissioner, the industry is only growing.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District film commissioner Terri Hadwin told Castanet Kamloops, that the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission (TNFC) has been around for over 20 years but in the last two years, the local film industry has really gained momentum.

“We are, for the most part, a very film-friendly area,” Hadwin said.

“I think that we still get excited about the idea of how having film come into our region and to stimulate the economy. We have so many different landscapes right at our fingertips as well.”

According to the commissioner, the local landscape is incredibly versatile. The region is able to be the set of many different locations from wintery mountain scenes to desserts in Afghanistan and everything in-between.

“I think that having everything very available, within a very short area of travel distance makes us very appealing,” she said.

Cjay Boisclair, co-producer A Private Affair, a thriller recently shot in Kamloops by CMW Productions, said as a local she strives to showcase the city’s charm.

For me, it's my own backyard, so I get to showcase everything that I love about our community, Boisclair said.

“And for film perspective-wise, we've got some amazing talent here that doesn't really get seen on the greater landscape of filming and so now they all have an opportunity.”

Jeremy Kulyk, other co-producer on the project said part of the film features the Blue Grotto as well as its owner.

“We actually had the opportunity to kind of incorporate a little bit of history with using Pup and having him play one of our characters,” Kulyk said.

“So that was kind of cool and exciting for both us as a production and for him and the community.”

Director of A Private Affair, Danny Boyle said there are still so many unique locations in Kamloops that haven’t made it to the silver screen.

“We're doing a scene in a gym— boxing gym sort of underground sort of fight club vibe— that hasn't been shot in, that's very cool,” Boyle said.

“So there [are] some great locations that haven't been used. Like a lot of the other places I use that are overshot.”

According to Hadwin, the film is the largest of all of the economic development that happens within the creative industry in B.C.

“It creates jobs for one— so that definitely stimulates the economy, and then [its’] definitely bringing money in,” Hadwin explained.

“[They are] spending money, at our hotels, at our restaurants, at our shops, everything that you can think of that people will need when they're here, they're supporting rental businesses as well.”

According to Hadwin, the TNFC is exploring the possibility of building a studio in the region to further expand the growing industry, adding that a local studio would promote more sustainable practices.

“[A local studio] would mean we're being more earth conscious, because people are having to travel less, and they're able to stay local, create more local jobs that are ongoing, and not what we would consider to be gig jobs,” Hadwin said.

Hadwin said she would like to see the industry continue to grow at a slow and steady pace, rather than a big boom all at once.

“We don't want to get too big so that we can't handle it all at once. But I think that it's been gradual over the years and I think that we can continue with that forward momentum without getting too out of hand.”

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