Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — Five new television and film projects are approved to receive North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant funds, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday.

Combined, these projects are expected to produce direct in-state spending of $107 million while creating more than 4,900 job opportunities in the state.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to get the film industry going again in North Carolina and we’re succeeding,” Cooper said. “Film, television and digital streaming projects here mean more money and jobs for North Carolinians.”

The first awardee, “Providence,” is an independent feature film about the unexpected consequences that arise when a veteran police officer tries to cover up a mistake made by their rookie trainee. The production is approved for a rebate of up to $1.75 million, with production being completed in Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

The series, “Hightown,” returns to southeast North Carolina for its third season, continuing its storyline about a Massachusetts Fisheries Enforcement Officer whose journey to sobriety is overshadowed by a murder investigation. Based out of EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, production is also already underway, with filming continuing through July. The Starz series from Lionsgate Television has been approved for a film and entertainment grant award of $10 million.

The next grant recipient is “AGB and Her Monster,” a feature-length film approved for a film rebate of $600,000. The project will shoot in the greater Charlotte area and is told through the eyes of an African-American teenage girl who constructs a monster to combat injustices in her neighborhood. The production is a modern story inspired by the classic tale, “Frankenstein.”

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” is a recently released Amazon Prime Video series that will return to southeastern North Carolina later this year for its second production season. Hailing from wiip in association with Amazon Studios, Season 2 of the series has been approved for a grant award of $13.6 million.

Another made-for-Hallmark feature, “To Her with Love,” is approved for a grant award of $975,000 for filming scheduled in and around Rowan and Mecklenburg counties. The made-for-TV/streaming movie will tell the story of a young teacher who secures a job at her former high school and is given free rein to design and head up the arts program. Though she’s still hoping to win a grant to teach in London the following year, the kids at the school win her over, and all her future plans suddenly come into question as program funding may be cut by the school board.

These awardees join previously announced projects, “George and Tammy,” an event series for Spectrum Originals and Paramount+; “Something Here,” a country music-inspired feature film; and “The Other Zoey,” a comedy about a co-ed whose life is turned upside down when the most popular guy on campus gets amnesia and mistakes her for his girlfriend.

In addition to these projects, North Carolina also welcomed productions this year for several travel shows, local projects including feature films “A Little Prayer” and “A Song for Imogene” and the new reality series, “Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane.”

“Following an amazing 2021, which saw productions spend more than $416 million in North Carolina, we are excited to see the momentum continue with these projects in 2022,” said North Carolina Film Office Director Guy Gaster. “Our industry continues to grow and we expect 2022 to be another successful year, resulting in well-paying job opportunities for film professionals in our state as well as millions of dollars being spent with local businesses and suppliers.”

The North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant provides financial assistance to attract feature film and television productions that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the state. Production companies receive no money up front and must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for grant funds, which are paid out following the completion of the project and a successful audit. The program is administered by the N.C. Department of Commerce and promoted by the North Carolina Film Office, part of VisitNC and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

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