Film and television shoots on the rise in Okanagan for 2021

Movie action in Okanagan

Film and television production in the Okanagan remains at a fever pace, at least in the first few weeks of 2021.

Okanagan Film Commissioner Jon Summerland says 2020 was a stellar year, and so far, the pace has not slowed down.

"The first production in 2021 is going to camera on January 25, the start of many non-stop films and television (productions) lined up to shoot here in 2021," says Summerland.

Summerland says 2020 was challenging because of COVID-19, but in the end, things worked out well for the Okanagan.

“Not only are we already starting up production, but a lot of good projects are already lined up and coming. Hollywood is scouting here, bigger production companies are setting up in the Okanagan, and major studios are looking.”

“We have a slate of MOW’s (movies of the week) with Hallmark and Lifetime films that are booked and will be bringing significant production activity into the middle of the year.”

The first Hallmark movie of the week, Christmas Au Pair, goes to camera on January 25 and stars two Canadian actors, Kayla Lauren Wallace (The Magicians, The Good Doctor) and Jeremey Guilbaut (A Harvest Wedding, Summer in the Vineyard). The Executive Producer is Gilles LaPlante, Senior VP, Reel One Pictures Inc. Reel One Pictures has gone so far as to set up a permanent production shop in Rutland.

A substantial anchor for the Okanagan film and TV industry was dropped in late November when Enderby Entertainment announced it was expanding its global operation in Canada with a feature film and television production office in Kelowna.

“I’m so proud to open our second office in Kelowna, British Columbia…We’ve fortunately been able to see the growth of the Okanagan region and all the work Jon Summerland has done with the film commission… The groundwork for a large-scale film industry has been laid," said president and CEO of Enderby Entertainment, Rick Dugdale.

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