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Vancouver sets up dedicated film centre

DeadpoolThe Vancouver Film and Media Centre has been set up as the Canadian city’s first dedicated film centre to promote Vancouver internationally and attract inward investment.

David Shepheard, formerly of Film London in the UK, becomes the city’s first film commissioner.

“As one of Vancouver’s high-growth industries, film and media have been big contributors to our nation-leading economic growth and has tremendous positive impact in our city,” said Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver. 

“David Shepheard’s expertise and experience – coupled with the new Film and Media Centre – will take our digital entertainment industry, already the third largest film production centre in North America, to the next level on the international stage. 

“I look forward to supporting the film commissioner and centre’s work in positioning Vancouver as the premier global destination for film and TV production, talent and investment.”

Vancouver is one of the top production hubs in North America. Television pilot filming rose nearly 70% between 2015 and 2016, and last year the city hosted more than 350 separate productions overall. Comic book movie Deadpool (pictured) has been among the high-profile features to shoot locally in recent years. 

Province-wide agency Creative BC already plays a role in promoting the city, but it was felt Vancouver also needed a dedicated film office. 

For more on filming in British Columbia and for local contacts see our production guide.

“It’s a declaration that Vancouver is kicking up its game – that we’re going to be the place to convene for conversations between content creators and platforms,” said Nancy Mott, executive director of the Vancouver Film and Media Centre, of the new office.

Shepheard also noted the importance of sustaining strong production infrastructure and a skilled crew base, in addition to all-important filming incentives.

“Incentives do reflect on production and producers will jump from place to place, but it’s the confidence of being able to get the work done and quality on the screen,” he told news outlet the Globe and Mail.

Vancouver’s production boom has resulted in a shortage of studio space in the city, with more production companies making use of adapted industrial facilities. A converted printing press became Skydance Studios last month and will host the upcoming Netflix sci-fi series Altered Carbon.  

Image: Joe Lederer/Marvel & Subs/Twentieth Century Fox