Milestones for the Nova Scotia Film Industry
July 22, 2013
Nova Scotia filmmakers received international acclaim and charted record-high levels of domestic production in 2012-13.
Year-end results for fiscal 2012-13 show the province’s audiovisual industry generated $125 million in production, up from $115 million in 2011-12. Domestic production accounted for 80 per cent of total production activity, generating approximately $100 million, an increase of $3 million over the previous year.
“Our filmmakers are exporting their projects around the world,” said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele. “The strength of our domestic industry is fueling growth, creating jobs and attracting both international productions and investment.”
Domestic production covered the spectrum, including six feature films, 23 documentaries, 14 drama series, two lifestyle series, and five animation series.
Over the past year, international audiences viewed many local productions. Blackbird, a feature film by local director Jason Buxton and producer Marc Almon, premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, winning Best Canadian Feature Film. Blackbird also screened at Cannes Ecrans Juniors, a youth-focused film festival held in conjunction with the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize. Blackbird was also the opening gala film for 2012 ViewFinders: Atlantic Film Festival for Youth. At the screening, one dollar from every ticket sold went to support Kids Help Phone.
Halifax documentary filmmakers Edward Peill and Geoff D’Eon from Tell Tale Productions were invited by U.S. government officials to present their documentary Counterfeit Culture at an event focusing on intellectual property theft and counterfeit goods in Washington, D.C. After a screening of the documentary, the filmmakers took part in a question and answer session with employees from the U.S. State Department. The documentary has since won two awards at the US International Film and Video Festival, a Certificate for Creative Excellence, and the One World Award.
The film industry in Nova Scotia is also celebrating another milestone in 2013. Canada’s first feature-length dramatic film, Evangeline, was shot in Nova Scotia 100 years ago. Directed by Edward P. Sullivan and William Cavanaugh, the silent film, based on Longfellow’s famous poem, was shot in Grand Pré, the Annapolis Valley, Cow Bay, and Eastern Passage. The film is now considered lost–no longer existing in archives or collections.
“As pioneers of the Canadian film industry, Nova Scotia continues to innovate and lead,” said Cheryl Hodder, chair of the board of directors for Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. “The ingenuity of our talented crews and the body of work produced in Nova Scotia continues to raise our profile and attract attention and investment to the province.”
Guest productions generated almost $25 million and included feature films, documentaries, drama series, and animation series.
“It is wonderful to celebrate these two very important milestones,” said Lisa Bugden, president and CEO of Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. “Nova Scotia is an established and competitive filming destination with a dynamic, domestic industry. This is a strong foundation to build on for the future.”
Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia is the lead development agency for the creative industries in the province. Providing a variety of loans, investments, programs and services, the agency works to support the growth and development of Nova Scotia’s creative enterprises.