Britt Robertson plays a gifted teenager in Tomorrowland

Area benefits from film production

North Okanagan provides backdrop for two Hollywood movies.

The North Okanagan has hit the big screen.

Disney’s Tomorrowland, partially shot in Grindrod, opened in theatres Friday, while Go With Me, which was also filmed in the region, has been marketed at a prestigious trade fair in Europe.

“It’s really amazing. Word is getting around,” said John Trainor, an Armstrong resident and Okanagan Film Commission chairperson.

Trainor and film commissioner Jon Summerland attended Tomorrowland’s premiere in Vancouver Thursday.

“It’s definitely a family movie and there’s lots of interesting special effects. The audience enjoyed it,” said Trainor.

“It (the premiere) was cool. It was a who’s who of Vancouver and lots of film industry people were there.”

Missing was the star, George Clooney.

“There was a rumour he’d be there but he didn’t show,” said Trainor.

Clooney and the rest of the cast and crew were in the North Okanagan in the summer of 2013, and  the region is profiled early on in the film.

“There is a very cool scene, that I actually watched be shot, where a young George Clooney comes in on a jetpack and crashes,” said Trainor.

“The farm house and farm and certainly the hills around Enderby are recognizable. There were also back roads in Armstrong I recognized.”

At the same time that Tomorrowland is turning heads in theatres, another movie with North Okanagan links is also garnering attention.

The trailer for Go With Me was featured at the film industry’s sales market in Cannes, France.

“We were meeting with international film distributors who want to look at your movie,” said Rick Dugdale, producer and president of Hollywood-based Enderby Entertainment, which is named after his hometown.

Go With Me, which stars Anthony Hopkins, was filmed in Enderby, Armstrong and Vernon in late 2014.

“Everyone is extremely excited,” said Dugdale of the response to the trailer. “They are seeing the look of the film and what the genre is — a suspense thriller. More action plays well overseas.”

It’s anticipated the film will be shown at a Canadian film festival soon and distribution plans for North America are being put together. It could be released in February or March.

“No matter what happens, we will show it in Vernon,” said Dugdale.

Post-production is taking place in Sweden and Hopkins has been following the process with keen interest.

“When the lead cast is happy, we have executed what we hoped to do,” said Dugdale.

Trainor is convinced more major films will come to the region, particularly after attending Tomorrowland’s premiere.

“The director and producer were impressed with the local crews and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s a great place to film a movie. It’s a very professional place to shoot.”

It has been suggested that Tomorrowland could pump $91 million into B.C.’s economy.

“I wish we would give a little more due to the impact these productions have so the film commission is not going every year cap in hand for another two per cent (funding increase) from regional districts,” said Trainor.


“We have an operating budget under $200,000 and we bring tens of millions into the Okanagan.”



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm firefighters sound sirens in support of hospital staff

Fire chief hopes to have more emergency responders involved in upcoming parade

Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Clinic will not be a walk-in centre, residents must call family doctor or nurse practioner first

Salmon Arm’s paving, pothole patching programs to begin in May

Long hard winter takes toll on roads, street cleaning underway

Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Salvation Army’s Lighthouse shelter to stay open beyond normal closing date of April 1

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Gleaners give surplus produce, North Okanagan gratefully fed

Trailer full of goods scooped by community amid COVID-19

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Friends of Dorothy’s drag queens deliver food in support of Kelowna’s first responders

The lounge is donating $5 from every order to first responders

Update: Coquihalla re-opens, after incident involving medevac

DriveBC warns of continued congestion and delays

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

LETTER: Flights from infected countries should be banned

There is no excuse to allow those from infected countries to keep coming to B.C.

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Most Read