REOPENING OF MANITOBA’S FILM INDUSTRY COULD DRAW PRODUCTIONS FROM ACROSS NORTH AMERICA

Film and TV production can resume June 1 if physical distancing, travel restrictions followed

Manitoba could be one of the first jurisdictions to reopen its film industry, potentially drawing in productions from other provinces and the United States. But film sets come with unique health and safety challenges. (Teghan Beaudette/CBC)

Manitoba is poised to become a movie hotspot this summer as one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to reopen its film industry shuttered by COVID-19.

As part of the second phase of its reopening plan, Manitoba will allow film and television production to resume June 1.

“We are seeing a tremendous opportunity out of this terrible crisis,” said Rachel Rusen, CEO of Manitoba Film and Music.

Rusen said the province’s low number of COVID-19 cases has more film productions eyeing Manitoba

She said her organization has been seeing an interest from producers in others provinces wanting to come film in Manitoba, while major studios and producers from abroad are also looking to bring their projects to Manitoba.

“I think we’re going to see the same things that happened when SARS broke out. We benefited from large scale production work that wasn’t intended for Manitoba,” she said.

That could bring hundreds of people into the province to work in film.

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