By Nyamekye Daniel
(The Center Square) – Five production companies will receive nearly $27 million in grants to film projects in North Carolina.
The productions are expected to generate more than $107 million in state dollars and create about 8,600 jobs, Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday, Sept. 15.
“Our state’s film industry continues to welcome new projects from prominent production companies,” Cooper said. “The industry provides good jobs and opportunities for local businesses while showcasing on a big stage what North Carolina has to offer.”
The projects were approved for North Carolina Film and Entertainment grants, but the money will not be awarded until they meet in-state spending goals. The grant program offers a 25% rebate to production companies with expenses ranging from $3 million to $250,000.
STARZ series “Hightown” is slated to receive the most significant grant from the state: $12 million. It will film in the Wilmington area, along with feature-film “Parkside,” which was approved for a $7 million grant. A smaller production, “USS Christmas,” will receive $1.1 million for filming in the area.
TV movie “A Nashville Christmas Carol” and series “Delilah” from Warner Bros. Television will be shot in Charlotte. The productions will receive $1.1 million and $5.4 million grants, respectively.
According to Cooper’s office, each production company will follow a COVID-19 safety plan developed with help from public health officials and trade associations. Filming will start in late October, Cooper said.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce, which administers the grant program, said the TV and film industry generated $167 million in direct in-state spending and created 12,000 jobs last year.
“2019 was a banner year for film and television production in North Carolina and despite some setbacks related to COVID-19, it looks like 2020 will also be a great year for the state’s industry,” said Guy Gaster, North Carolina Film Office director. “It is exciting to have these productions up and running, and we may have even more before the end of the year.”