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Developing the real Hollywood North

BY KEITH LACEY Greater Sudbury's push to become a destination point for movie and television producers across the country continues.


Greater Sudbury's push to become a destination point for movie and television producers across the country continues.

The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC) teamed up with Music and Film in Motion (MFM) to  spearhead a campaign to attract the best artistic talent by supporting the Film and Television Producers Familiarization Tour.

Invitations are being sent out to industry leaders across the province.

Organizers are hoping they will jump at the chance to spend two days in the city touring potential filming locations, meeting city leaders and industry people committed to bringing more productions to Sudbury.

The GSDC board approved spending between $7,500 to a maximum of $10,000 for the tour, which is scheduled to take place May 17 and 18.

The end goal of the tour is to increase knowledge about Sudbury and its resources among Canadian producers, said MFM executive director Dennis Landry.

Once invitations are accepted, a charter plane will bring the producers to our community for two very busy days, said Eleethea Marsow, a business development officer with the GSDC.

The tour would also inform producers of potential sources of revenue now available if they were to consider producing a movie or television series in this community, said Landry. Those sources include MFM and GSDC, along with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

The itinerary for the familiarization tour includes a lengthy tour of the city, including "unique neighbourhoods like the Flour Mill" which might be ideal for shooting a movie or series and sites, said Marsow.

The producers will then be treated to a dinner, where local musical talent will be on display, and they will be able to meet with local dignitaries, she said.

The second day will feature a breakfast, summary of the first day's events and then a tour of March Entertainment's downtown studios, where Chilly Beach is produced.

Landry said the idea for the tour has been discussed for a couple of years.

After the success of the shooting of the movie Men With Brooms and made-for-TV movie Shania, the timing is right to try and bring more high-profile projects to Sudbury.

Among those targeted for the tour are well-known Canadian actor and producer Paul Gross, who starred in Men With Brooms, Scott Darby, the producer of the television series Re-Genesis and Robert Charbonneau, the leading producer of francophone television projects in the province, said Landry.

The long-term goal of MFM is to continue to work hard to one day convince a major producer, perhaps CBC, to shoot a television series in or around Greater Sudbury, said Landry.

Greater Sudbury is uniquely positioned to reach that goal as MFM is well established and can provide all the technical assistance any movie or television production team might need, said Landry.