Film industry tries to salvage working relationship with Nanaimo

NANAIMO – Film representatives meeting with city's economic development corporation

Economic development officials and the film commission are back talking about Nanaimo participating in marketing the region to potential filmmakers.

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation is set to meet with local film industry representatives on Friday (Aug. 10) to try to continue discussions halted at the exit of former CEO Susan Cudahy.

The City of Nanaimo ended its support of the Nanaimo Film Commission in 2006 and refused to contribute financially to the regional Island North Film Commission (InFilm).

“We were encouraged this year,” said Joan Miller, film commissioner for InFilm.

She said the commission had “really good conversations” with Cudahy, and hosted a forum for Cudahy in February with film industry representatives from the Island and Lower Mainland.

“She assured us she would be speaking to the board on our behalf,” Miller said.

That ended when Cudahy and economic development parted ways. Miller said the film commission received a short letter from the corporation that it was not interested in working with them.

Local representatives took up the issue in the hopes to restart the relationship.

“We’ve been trying to respect their process,” Miller said.

A.J. Hustins, chairman of economic development’s board of directors, said any agreement would have to fit with the corporation’s goals and objectives.

“There’s a lot of people who think the NEDC is a bank,” Hustins said. “InFilm is no different – they’re looking for funding.”

Although the city doesn’t contribute to its funding, InFilm will assist with Nanaimo shoots if clients request it, said Miller.