Thunder Bay

Northern Ontario film organization launches new film crew directory

A new online directory for northern Ontario film and television production crew members will be an important tool as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 900 people have signed up for Cultural Industries Ontario North's new service

Sudbury-based Cultural Industries Ontario North has launched a new northern Ontario film crew database. (Submitted by: Northern Ontario Film Studios)

A new online directory for northern Ontario film and television production crew members will be an important tool as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sudbury-based Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION) launched the directory earlier this month. It's essentially an upgraded version of CION's previous crew directory, said Rob Riselli, CION's film programs and reporting supervisor.

"Right now, there's well over 900 profiles on the database, and it's growing," Riselli said. "It tells producers, you know, who these people are and their skill sets, which I think is very, very important."

The database allows people to list their skill sets, experience, and specify that they're a resident of northern Ontario, Riselli said, which is important when accessing funding earmarked for the region.

"When a producer or a head of department is looking for crew, because of the NOHFC funding and its criteria, or mandate, about northern Ontario ... that's very key," Riselli said.

The directory can be accessed through the CION website.

Riselli said fall 2020 was a busy time for the region's film and television production industry, as it reopened after being shut down due to COVID-19.

A dozen productions filmed in the region during that period. January and February tend to be slower months - Riselli said there's a production currently shooting in Sudbury, and another planned to film in Sault Ste. Marie in March - but Riselli expects things to pick up in the spring.

As for the northwest, Riselli said there are plans in the works.

"There are projects that are being developed," he said. "I don't have a specific timeline as to whether or not they'll be able to do that this year."

"There's certainly some documentary work that's being done in and around the region there," he said. "Hopefully we'll see something in the Thunder Bay region."

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