We couldn’t have set a more fitting stage for bringing to life the iconic phrase “if you build it, they will come” at this year’s Banff World Media Festival, held June 12th -15th in the majestic Rocky Mountains.
A large crowd of delegates from every corner of the globe welcomed the new Calgary Film Centre with a standing ovation to underscore the international interest in the year-round location for screen industry projects in southern Alberta.
As a sponsor of the Festival’s session for international media leaders, Discoverability and Engaging Audiences in a Global Content Marketplace, the Calgary Film Centre opened its doors to leaders of international broadcasters, studios, and digital powerhouses. Topics included harnessing content in a global content industry and the impact of digital platforms on traditional strategies.
“Increased connectivity and industry shifts in short- and long-form content creation are driving large increases in the number of diverse screen projects dedicated to excellence in content development and production,” said Erin O’Connor, General Manager of the film centre.
O’Connor and Luke Azevedo, Calgary’s Commissioner for Film, TV and Creative Industries, were in Banff to promote the $28.2-million facility in southeast Calgary and the delegates applauded the three focus areas of service delivery:
“The Calgary Film Centre is naturally poised to support the growth of the industry,” said O’Connor.
The proof is in the making. Days following the film centre’s grand opening on May 19th, the production crew from UK production company Kudos set up for six months of filming for its “western-noir” TV series, Tin Star.
With award-winning local talent and crews and a reputation for such films as The Revenant, Brokeback Mountain and Interstellar, along with critically acclaimed TV series such as Fargo and Heartland, it’s no wonder southern Alberta’s newest film location is drawing interest from production companies.
Film, TV and Creative Industries generated approximately $175 million in southern Alberta in 2015 and industry analysis indicates the Calgary Film Centre could be a catalyst to increase spending to $500 million in five to seven years.
The film centre is intended to be a leader of innovation and excellence in creative industries and digital media in Calgary and contribute to economic diversification. In partnership with local post-secondary institutions, unions, guilds and industry associations, the film centre will support the growth and mentorship of the crew base in Calgary and area.