Sudbury, Ont., film industry bounces back after pandemic recession, says citySUCHI News

Sudbury, Ont., film industry bounces back after pandemic recession, says city

The city’s tourism and culture manager said that after a slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sudbury’s film industry is starting to bounce back.

Lara Fielding said the film industry in the northern Ontario city has had an impact of $200 million so far this year, including $11 million in local spending.

“You can imagine when a production comes into town, it’s hotel rooms, it’s car rentals, it’s flights, it’s taxis, it’s food and drink, hairstylist, set production, carpentry, Fielding said.

“You know, it’s quite the influence that they come to our community and really support our local businesses.”

Before the pandemic, Fielding said Greater Sudbury hosted about 19 or 20 film and television productions per year.

So far this year, he said 12 productions have been filmed in the city.

They include the Crave comedy series Kilkenny And ShoreseyA Christmas movie starring Gladys Knight, and a new horror comedy called zombie townStarring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.

To take advantage of that momentum, the city hired a film executive to work closely with industry and support the construction by suggesting filming locations and building relationships to attract more projects to the city. .

“The film industry is grateful for the support and guidance, and is working to liaise with film executives as well as the community,” Fielding said.

Film executives and city business development officers were at the Toronto International Film Festival with representatives from five other municipalities to promote Northern Ontario as a film destination.

Fielding said Sudbury’s Cinefest International Film Festival has also been an opportunity to connect with filmmakers and promote the regions.

A downtown storefront with fake snow and Christmas decorations.
Parts of downtown Sudbury were decorated for a new Christmas movie starring singer and actress Gladys Knight. (Assurance Contractor/CBC)

As well as networking opportunities, there is an emphasis on building new film and television studios in the region.

One proposal is for a $36 million studio to be built on a vacant piece of land off Kingsway in Sudbury.

Edith Myers, a film industry consultant who has worked on the proposed Freshwater production studio, told CBC News that the 116,000-square-foot facility will help attract TV productions in the $30-40 million budget range.

In North Bay, a production company called North Star Studios is investing $26 million to convert a former mining supply building into a 100,000-square-foot studio.

“Why can’t the North Bay be the next movie hub in the entertainment world?” North Star Studios president Mitch Ouimet asked.

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