Lights! Camera! Action! London ready for close-up as film office gets rolling

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The London Film Office has landed more than $2 million in film production in London after only six months on the job, says the head of economic development for the city.


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The city has commitments from 15 film and television projects to work here and a full-length feature film is being shot in London and Strathroy.

Jacob Windatt, producer of the movie Last the Night, credits the London Film Office for getting it made here.

“When the London Film Office got off the ground, it made economic sense for us to reach out to them. It is the launch pad, it made us explore filming here.”

Windatt and director Daniel Turres were looking at various sites to shoot the movie. Windatt said he found the London Film Office to be a one-stop shop for film needs.

It helped connect him to talent in the city, from production staff to wardrobe and makeup, and it helped find locations to shoot.

“We got a lot of support from the city. It’s a real testament to the people in the area. We can put together a top-quality film without outsourcing and bringing people here.”


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Downtown London contributed $75 to each of the 35 crew members to spend in the core.

The London Film Office was created in April with $300,000 in funding from the city.

Kapil Lakhotia, chief executive of the London Economic Development Corp., said the office has already created a database of 67 sites for potential film shoots — “and that is growing every day” — and is helping connect filmmakers to crews and talent working in the industry as well as support services.

“We are tracking 15 film and TV productions to London. We estimate the value of these 15 to be over $2 million,” he said.

Last the Night is the big win, Lakhotia added.

“It is a full feature. There are well known actors, they have appeared on major pictures and on TV,” he said.


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The cast includes lead actor Shawn Roberts, who has acted in the Resident Evil franchise, and Tara Spencer-Nairn, well known for playing police officer Karen Pelly on Corner Gas.

“The film office is gaining momentum. These successes validate the importance of creative industries in our economy,” Lakhotia said.

“It has economic impact. We are developing an industry cluster in our region. There have been a lot of inquiries. We have been an untapped market for a long time.”

Windatt lives in London as does Turres, but they are used to taking production out of town. Now they feel they do not have to.

“There is a great workforce here. The majority of the crew are Londoners, some Fanshawe College grads are working with us, getting experience on a film set.”

Support from the city for the project included help in getting approvals for various permits need for filiming, medical staff on set for COVID-19 testing and leads to businesses offering services, Windatt said

Help from the film office in finding sites for filming led to locations such as the London Music Hall and the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, he said.

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