By Adam R. MacDonald
On Thursday last week, the Fernie Chamber of Commerce hosted Joanna Maratta, the Kootenay Columbia Film Region Liaison, as she spoke about how communities in the East Kootenays can benefit from film production that comes to the area.
Joanna represents one of the five regional film commissions that work in conjunction with the BC Film Commission to attract various types of film production into each respective region. The Kootenay Columbia Film Office covers the region north of the US border, west of the Alberta border, south of Golden, and east of Boundary country.
Joanna highlighted the importance of communities being both ready and willing for the film industry to work in their areas. The major action in being ready is for businesses in the community to have an open dialogue with the Chamber, as it is one of the first steps in establishing a list of local resources available for the film production crews to utilize.
“When things move, they move quickly,” said Joanna, “and having updated lists of the resources in the community is important.”
She also stressed the importance of making residents aware of the disturbances that come with the economic benefits of having film production in a community. “We want to make sure that at the end of the day it is a good process for everyone,” she said.
The major way the regional film commissions attract clients is through the development of image packages that filmmakers and location managers can view online when trying to decide where to shoot a certain scene. These images include historic buildings, beautiful natural settings, old industrial sites, and many other locations throughout the region. “We have about 2,000 images in our library and they get shared with the BC Film Commission,” says Joanna. Various images from the library can be viewed at kcfilm.ca, and residents who have a suggestion for a filming location can contact Joanna Maratta at 250-505-4263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.