Universal Studios, NBC plan large productions in Okanagan

Special to the Herald

The filming of “Endless,” a teen romance shot in Kelowna last fall, was among dozens of productions that contributed $32 million to the Valley’s economy in 2018, the film commission says.

Snow has come at the right time for a Christmas-themed movie about to start filming in the Okanagan, local politicians heard Thursday.

The as-yet untitled film is a joint production of Universal Studios and NBC, says the Okanagan Film Commission’s Jon Summerland.

Plans for about 10 upcoming film and TV productions with an Okanagan connection were mentioned by Summerland during a presentation to directors of the Central Okanagan regional district.

One of the largest planned productions is a 10-episode series titled Beneath, described as a conspiracy thriller set in Antarctica.

The series will have a $45-million budget, Summerland says.

Other productions include Red Dragon, a Chinese-Canadian film to start shooting in Osoyoos this spring, and an independent Canadian film called Trapline, soon to start filming in Rock Creek.

Last year, the making of films, TV shows, advertisements and animated productions in the Okanagan boosted the Valley’s economy by almost $32 million, Summerland said.

The single-largest economic impact associated with a film last year came from Daughter of the Wolf, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Gino Carano. Filmed in and around Kelowna, the production had a “total spend” of $6 million, Summerland said.

The Okanagan Film Commission has a 2019 budget of $254,000, half of which comes from Kelowna-area taxpayers. Taxpayers in the Okanagan-Similkameen area provide $35,000, and the contribution from the North Okanagan is $29,000.

“The Okanagan, Boundary and Similkameen valleys have a proven track record for providing exceptional value for producers’ dollars,” Summerland writes in his report to the regional district.

“We aggressively look for new clients,” he says. “There is no time spent waiting for the next client.”

Recommended for you