April 17, 2008
Seeds for a new crop are being planted in Southwest Georgia!
With the recent sold out premier of "The Lena Baker Story" at the Atlanta Film Festival, even before it opens in theatres, and its upcoming showing at the Cannes Film Festival in France, it's time we recognize the potential for the film industry as a possible addition to economic development across Southwest Georgia.
Sherwood Baptist Church had successes with "FlyWheel," "Facing the Giants," and its current production, "Fireproof." These productions, filmed in Dougherty and Lee Counties and Shelman, will help to fund an 82-acre, $1.2 million sports park - which will be an asset to all of the Southwest Georgia community.
Henny Penny Productions, the production company in Colquitt, responsible for the "Lena Baker Story," worked with a seven-figure budget with one-third of that remaining in SW Georgia. That movie was filmed in Early, Miller, and Baker Counties.
When movies are filmed in this area, hundreds of people are employed, from caterers, to set builders, to drivers. Additionally, these productions provide numerous volunteer opportunities. The Southwest Georgia film industry is providing an alternative source of income for those who may have lost jobs, lost farms, or maybe even lost hope!
It's a new type of commodity but in a time when the economy is so uncertain, we need to embrace the dreams and visions of these new "farmers of economic development" and help them celebrate the sprouting a new crop for this area.