NWT film industry gets a boost

NWT film industry gets a boost

The launch of the NWT Film Commission’s new website earlier this month was a stepping stone to developing the territory’s film industry, says the associate film commissioner.

“This website, we are very proud of it, but it is just a starting point,” said Camilla MacEachern. “Once the word gets out, we encourage people to give us input and we want to build up on the content. We look forward to working with the industry and see how it will flourish. Not only the website, but the industry. There is a lot of potential and we have been working really hard just to build a foundation and establish ourselves.”

The website has a classic film design with a film reel rotating images of the North. It features a location library, information on weather, permit information, updates on the industry and more.
“We wanted something that was really stylish and to show people that we are not a little behind-with-the-times Northern territory. We wanted something that looked really innovative,” said MacEachern.

Before launching the site, the NWT Film Commission had only a small information page located on the GNWT Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) website.

MacEachern said she hopes the site is used to garner feedback from the industry to help improve it. There is a section of the website allowing companies that film in the NWT to register their production. She said sometimes the commission is not aware that companies have filmed in the NWT, making it difficult to track and analyze statistics.

Currently, there are two ways for Northern filmmakers to fund their projects. A funding program is available through the Department of Education, Culture and Employment for anyone in the arts industry to assist with development and the creative side of their project. The ITI Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) program offers funding to Northern filmmakers to assist with costs in marketing and promotions.

MacEachern said they want to mainstream the available funding programs and ensure they are “actually servicing the needs of the industry.”

There are no direct incentives for production companies outside of the NWT to come film here, but through the SEED program, funding can be made available if an NWT co-producer is involved with the project.

MacEachern said once the website is built up, the Film Commission wants to attend industry trade shows and film festivals to start physically reaching the filmmakers.

“We want to encourage productions to come our way,” she said. “We want to show them that we have a very capable and talented group in industry that can assist them while they are on location. We have such a diverse set of location options that can fit many needs. As an example, we have urban settings to the Arctic Ocean; we have tundra and mountains.”

Visit the page at: http://www.nwtfilm.com/

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