The Union Recorder

April 23, 2014

Film Festival debut perfect opportunity for Milledgeville community to shine

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville will roll out the red carpet this week, ushering in the first-ever local film festival. The weekend will include screenings, film industry workshops and panels and question and answer sessions.

The festival presents a major opportunity for Milledgeville, with industry professionals in the area, as the community continues to gain momentum in this arena. In the last year, the television show “The Originals” has shot at Central State Hospital, and independent filmmakers have also taken notice of the Milledgeville community.

Milledgeville’s mark in the film industry is certainly gaining ground at a time when the ground is fertile for productivity statewide. In the last year, $3.3 billion has been invested in Georgia by the film industry — television networks, Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers — according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Since 2010, 11 film and television studio facilities have made announcements to locate or expand in Georgia. Other southern states are well into the film industry game as well — North Carolina, Louisiana and South Carolina among them.

With the success of other communities statewide in this arena — take for instance Senoia and its success with “The Walking Dead” — the possibilities and potential for Milledgeville abound.

The tourism potential is evident. When “The Originals” filmed out at CSH earlier this year, the CW team brought upward of 150 people to CSH and reportedly spent more than $30,000 in local hotel accommodations alone, not to mention food and other areas.

Recent work on a set of city guidelines and protocol for filming and production in Milledgeville is an indication there is an effort underfoot to foster growth in the film industry locally, and the rest of the community should take notice as well.

This weekend as the community welcomes visitors to town, the Milledgeville Film Festival is another prime opportunity to shine a light on what the local community has to offer.