Great Location, Great Crew-Okanagan Becoming a Premier Filming Destination

The Sepia Films production, A Mother's Nightmare, just finished a month long feature length shoot here in the Okanagan. The film stars Annabeth Gish (Pretty Little Liars), Jessica Lowndes (90210) and Grant Gustin (Glee) and will air on Lifetime (and also see a limited theatrical release) at the end of 2012. The film was directed by award winning Vic Sarin, one of Canada's most celebrated directors of photography.

Many Vancouver film crews have come to Kelowna to shoot feature films, but film companies are increasingly hiring the majority of their crews right in the Okanagan. In the case of A Mother’s Nightmare, about 80-90% of the 110 person crew was from the Okanagan, as were all of the film’s extras.

Jon Summerland of the Okanagan Film Commission, states, “It is so great that this production is hiring crew locally. This is what we have been driving to create in the Okanagan. It will help bring more productions here in the future once producers know they can save money by hiring locally.”  

On set of A Mother’s Nightmare, Jon adds, “Everybody who comes here [to film] always wants to come back… You always hear ‘the light here is beautiful, the people are great, locations are easy’ – it’s a very positive place to film.”

Reports CHBC News, “Even Hollywood veterans are impressed with what they’ve seen. Said actress Annabeth Gish (who plays the role of the mother in the film), ‘I think [the Okanagan] is unexplored, unshot territory that I would predict will become much more popular as a destination for film.’” 

Moreover, the Okanagan is also becoming the caliber of the film professionals that call it home. “You know it’s so incredible – it’s not just the amount of people but that talent that’s here”, said Andy Holmes, A Mother’s Nightmare Director’s Assistant. 

It appears that the momentum will continue to build for the Okanagan as a premier film destination.
Jon Summerland recently told The Province, “This is the busiest year yet for production in the Okanagan... A Bollywood musical drama just wrapped in Osoyoos, while the reality series Real Housewives of Vancouver and Millionaire Matchmaker filmed earlier in the year. Coming up is a 3D feature that [I] can't name just yet, and several more TV movies.”

Sepia Films also plans to be back, and are seriously considering doing another three or four films in the Okanagan. Other feature films made in the Okanagan in the last few years include Big Year (starring Steve Martin, Jack black and Owen Wilson), Pressed (starring Luke Goss), and Flicka 3, among others.

Sources:

Okanagan Film Commission

Since 1990, the Okanagan Film Commission has been key in the success of such productions as Flicka 3, No Tell Motel, Pressed, The Big Year, Gunless and Tora, that were partially or fully shot in the Okanagan, and currently is attracting more film and television productions and is central in the orchestration of the creation of the new digital industry here in the Okanagan.

Kelowna BC Film School Training

Centre for Arts and Technology offers an 18 month Digital Filmmaking Professional Diploma program at campuses in Kelowna, Halifax, and Fredericton. Students in the program are immersed in a practical film studio setting and also experience the filmmaking model from start to finish. In fact, many of the film industry professionals working on all these feature films in the Okanagan, are graduates of the Digital Filmmaking program at our Kelowna campus! You can find out more about the program on our Digital Filmmaking program page.