The Okanagan isn’t just a film location anymore, it’s a film centre, says Jon Summerland.
A bi-annual update was provided to media by the region’s film commissioner on Wednesday, June 29, outlining that a total of 16 movies have been shot in the Okanagan so far in 2022, with bigger budget films and television projects already slated for the second half of this year.
“We are not just scouting for films to come here, they are starting here,” Summerland said. “The concepts are being created here.”
A pair of Okanagan-made television shows are already in development for 2023, the update adds.
“We can now bring full series to be shot here with bigger budgets due to infrastructure now in place,” Summerland said.
In 2021, the Kelowna-based film commission brought over 30 productions to the region. Among those was indie movie Invasions, filmed around the Peach by Penticton’s Okanagan Lake.
High-profile film director Neill Blomkamp has also recently worked in the area, shooting Demonic in Penticton and Naramata in 2020. Blomkamp is best known for writing and directing the critically acclaimed District 9.
Summerland told Black Press in November that seeing Okanagan-made productions on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu is “very achievable.”
Today, the region’s commissioner is calling the Okanagan film industry an established film and television centre.
“We are a place to make films,” he stated. “No, if, ands or buts about it anymore.”