Funding aims to lure movie makers to the Kootenays

If you’re a movie producer and you want to replicate the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, where do you go?

If you’re a movie producer and you want to replicate the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, where do you go?

Rossland, of course.

The 2003 Disney movie “Miracle” is just one film that has been produced in the local area, the most recent being “The Tall Man” last fall in the Nelson, Salmo and Ymir area.

But with $30,000 being injected into the Kootenay Columbia Film region, area liaison Joanna Maratta is hoping that more will come.

“It’s fabulous — it’s an important program,” she said. “Tracking production to shoot in the region is not a formula. It’s hard to get people out of the Vancouver area and what will drive people here are the locations we have.”

The money will be used to continue providing services like scouting, crew lists, logistical support and updating the visual database to keep prospective film and TV clients coming.

The provincial government contributed a total of $275,000, split between 12 different associations, municipalities and commissions.

“Having that money in place — it’s not a lot — but it’s enough to help with the fundamental things and keep a presence, so every so often we land them (producers),” Maratta explained.

She continued to say it’s tough to know what people are looking for, so the more information and photos she has about communities increases their chances of being selected for a shoot.

She added that she’d taken a scout through Trail less than a month ago.

“Once we get that (information) to people or are able to service people so they know where we are, what we can do, what our weather is like and talk to people our chances are greater all around to drive that activity.”

While she receives a lot of phone calls directly, a majority of them have been redirected from the BC Film Commission, who also has access to their online photo database. The funding will benefit the industry as a whole because it works like a network share, she added.

Once the funding is in place, Maratta said she will be contacting communities and asking if they have new and unique additions that should be added to the extensive digital library.

According to the news release, the economic spin-off for locations that are selected is pretty hefty too — during production of “The Tall Man,” over $11 million was generated in the area over the 42-day shoot.