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Slavery drama Underground filmed in Louisiana

New slavery drama Underground filmed at Celtic Studios in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and partly on location at a former slave plantation.

Underground is a ten-part series set in the late 1850s a few years before the American Civil War. The story follows a group of slaves escaping a Georgia plantation using the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes by which abolitionists helped slaves to freedom in the years before emancipation.

Interiors were filmed at Celtic Studios, which is the largest production facility in Louisiana with eight separate stages.  

Sets for Underground were modelled on the interiors of Felicity Plantation in Vacherie near New Orleans, reports local outlet the Advocate. The production team also filmed exteriors at the plantation itself, and at the LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge, a facility run by Louisiana State University that specialises in 19th century culture.

Films and TV series looking at slavery in the US have become more prolific since Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave won three Oscars in 2014, including Best Picture. Other high-profile shoots have included Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, while upcoming productions include a remake of the seminal 1970s slavery miniseries Roots, which also filmed scenes in South Africa.

Louisiana is now one of the main production hubs in the US, partly due to its generous filming incentive support. As a result, film and TV projects looking at slavery stories are able to shoot easily in the real locations.

For more on filming in Louisiana see our production guide.