RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – If you think that recent announcement that Hallmark was filming one of its movies in Salisbury was big news, check out these new TV and film projects that are coming to North Carolina.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday five new projects that would receive money from the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant program, projects that Cooper said would bring in about $107 million in spending and create about 4,900 jobs.
“We’ve worked tirelessly to get the film industry going again in North Carolina and we’re succeeding,” Cooper said in a release. “Film, television and digital streaming projects here mean more money and jobs for North Carolinians.”
That Hallmark project is one of the five. Here’s the rundown:
- “To Her with Love” is approved for a grant award of $975,000 for filming scheduled in and around Rowan and Mecklenburg counties, the release said. This is a Hallmark TV movie project about a former teacher who returns to run an arts program at her old high school and, yes, does battle with the school board.
- “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” one of the summer’s hits on Amazon Prime, will film its second season in southeastern North Carolina later this year. This series has been approved for a grant award of $13.6 million.
- “Providence,” a feature film about a veteran police officer and rookie trainee, will film in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. It would receive a rebate of up to $1.75 million.
- “Hightown” will film in the Wilmington area for its third season on Starz, although the program is about a Massachusetts Fisheries enforcement officer involved in a murder investigation. This project has been approved for a grant award of $10 million.
- “The Angry Black Girl & Her Monster“ is a feature-length film about a teenage Black girl who creates a monster to combat injustices in her neighborhood, a modern takeoff of “Frankenstein,” the release said. This is to be filmed in the Charlotte area and has been approved for a rebate of $600,000.
Those are just the latest projects to earn grants. Also on tap are a Paramount+ series called “George and Tammy,” inspired by country music singers George Jones and Tammy Wynette; “The Other Zoey”, a romantic comedy about a college coed; and local projects such as “A Little Prayer,” “A Song for Imogene” and the NASCAR reality series “Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane.”
North Carolina has had a hot-and-cold relationship with providing funding for film projects, and state officials have been criticized for losing projects to neighboring states, such as Georgia. Oddly, an reinvestment in funding in the state and reaction to more restrictive election laws in Georgia have somewhat reversed that trend.
Over the years North Carolina has been the location for numerous prominent featured films, including “Bull Durham,” “Cold Mountain,” “Days of Thunder” and “Talladega Nights.” Network TV/streaming productions have included “Homeland,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Matlock,” “State of Grace” and “One Tree Hill” provided the locations.
Of course the most famous TV show related to North Carolina really wasn’t filmed here, “The Andy Griffith Show” based its Mayberry on Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, and it included many references to locations in the state.
“Following an amazing 2021, which saw productions spend more than $416 million in North Carolina, we are excited to see the momentum continue with these projects in 2022,” North Carolina Film Office Director Guy Gaster said in the release. “Our industry continues to grow and we expect 2022 to be another successful year, resulting in well-paying job opportunities for film professionals in our state as well as millions of dollars being spent with local businesses and suppliers.”
The grant program “provides financial assistance to attract feature film and television productions that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the state. Production companies receive no money up front and must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for grant funds, which are paid out following the completion of the project and a successful audit.”
The N.C. Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Film Office and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina administer the program.