RTO 9 has been collaborating with the Kingston Film Office on a Regional Expansion & Support study that encompasses surrounding regions from Belleville to Cornwall. This includes assessing and inventorying current resources and processes in an effort to streamline, organize, and potentially promote participating regions to industry together for collective benefit.
Alex Jansen, Film Commissioner Kingston Film Office, Tourism Kingston, has provided us with an update on these initiatives:
This past summer, the Kingston Film Office executed Phase 1 of the RTO9 funded Regional Expansion & Support Study, with a primary focus on connecting with and supporting local regions and inventorying local assets. More than 100 potential filming locations were photographed across the 9 DMOs that comprise RTO9, while the Film Office consulted directly with regions on the best ways to support and service film inquiries.
These efforts have already netted and seen the Kingston Film Office help service multiple serious production inquiries, including; supporting a music video production in Gananoque; scouting for a Disney Plus series in Napanee; serious feature film interest in shooting at both the Railway Tunnel in Brockville and St. Raphael’s Ruins in Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Counties, as well as partnering with the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, and; supporting a Canada Council funded short film on Amherst Island. All this, while a majority of the new locations photography is still being loaded onto the Provincial Locations Library.
Meanwhile, the Kingston Film Office fully supported the production of the low-budget feature film “Verona”, which was shot entirely in the neighbouring Frontenac region. The local community was involved at all levels, including locations, suppliers, crew, and trainees, and this served as an ideal case study for future local end-to-end production.
The Kingston Film Office is already courting interest from three further feature films interested in shooting end-to-end entirely in the larger region and is supporting local-producer J Joly on a Hyper-Local Screen-Based Content Action Plan with partners Kingston EcDev, Frontenac Business Solutions, Upper Canada Equity Fund, and Ontario Creates.
Both initiatives complement the creation of a proposed $25,000,000 South Eastern Ontario Production Accelerator Fund (SEOPAF) for the broader region, which is currently being lobbied by the provincial government with support from a dozen area MPPs. The Kingston Film Office will continue to support the surrounding regions and will be having follow-up discussions with the various DMOs and municipalities surrounding processes and next steps.