PRESS RELEASE: North Carolina Awards Three Film & Entertainment Grants

Press release from the North Carolina Department of Commerce:

North Carolina Awards Three Film & Entertainment Grants

Raleigh, N.C. – N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. announced three productions will receive funds from the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant program. Each recipient will begin production within the next 60 days.

“Two of our grantees are returning to film in North Carolina and that is exactly what we want- repeat business,” said Secretary Skvarla. “We want to continue long term relationships on both the big and small screen.”

The three-hour filmed musical event “Dirty Dancing,” the independent feature film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and a new television event series “Shots Fired” will film in North Carolina. The three projects combined are expected to have direct in-state spending of more than $64.5 million while creating approximately 7,600 job opportunities in the state.

DebraMessingDirty Dancing is an adaption of the beloved 1987 hit romantic drama and instant movie classic, which was shot in part in North Carolina. Produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Allison Shearmur Production, the TV event—starring Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin (“Freak Show,” “Scream Queens,” “Little Miss Sunshine”) and Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing (“The Mysteries of Laura,” “Smash,” “Will & Grace”) and singer, dancer, actor Colt Prattes (P!nk’s music video “Try,” “Rock of Ages”)—will air domestically on ABC. The production will take place in the state’s western region, including Jackson and Buncombe Counties among other locations. The eligible grant amount is up to $4 million.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an independent feature-length film about a small town mother who confronts the local police department as to why there are still no answers in regard to the death of her teenage daughter seven months ago. The production is being produced by the UK’s Blueprint Pictures in conjunction with Film4 and Fox Searchlight Pictures. It will also base out of the state’s western region with filming taking place in Jackson and Buncombe counties among other locations. The eligible grant amount is up to $3,106,772.

SanaaLathanShots Fired is a series from 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television that will base out of Charlotte. The series examines the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small town and will star Sanaa Lathan (“The Perfect Guy,” “Love & Basketball”) as an expert investigator who digs into the cases, alongside a special prosecutor sent to the town by the Department of Justice, to seek justice before the divided town erupts. The eligible grant amount is up to $9 million

“North Carolina continues to be a choice location for a variety of projects and the latest recipients, who will join previously awarded productions in the Wilmington and Research Triangle areas, show that this industry is indeed statewide,” said Guy Gaster, director of the North Carolina Film Office within the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “In addition to job opportunities for many of our state’s highly-skilled film professionals, these projects will also help stimulate economic activity in the communities in which they film.”

The North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant provides financial assistance to attract productions that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for grant funds.

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One production out, one production in? Another pilot for SC.

( Photo credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

What we were hoping for in the Charlotte area looks like a no-go. FOX’s 24: Legacy has decided that they will be shooting in Los Angeles. However, when one door closes…

Looks like we might have a $15M feature film heading to the Asheville area. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Yep that’s the title. Frances McDormand stars in the Martin McDonagh flick. Although not officially reported and it is not confirmed, I’ve been told Sam Rockwell is joining the cast. In a interview last year with The Guardian, McDonagh spoke about the storyline. “It’s about a 50-year-old woman whose daughter is murdered and she goes to war with the police in her home town…because she thinks they are more interested in torturing black people than getting justice.” Although the film is of the crime genre, I’ve heard there is a dark comedy element to it as well.  As soon as I get a confirmation on all of this, I will let you know!

And just in case you didn’t know, Barbara D’Alessandro is line producing the ABC pilot, The Death of Eva Sophia Valdez in Charleston, SC. Production begins in mid-March.

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