Cache Creek resident is Thompson-Nicola’s new film commissioner – Barriere Star Journal


A longtime Cache Creek resident has been named the new Thompson-Nicola Film Commission (TNFC) film commissioner. Gareth Smart will take over from long-serving film commissioner Victoria Weller from this month.

Smart lived in the area for 10 years and worked in location management in the film industry for many years. During this time he has worked regularly with the TNFC on location and is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada and an alumnus of the Vancouver Film School.

While living in Cache Creek, Smart worked for the HUB online network as a regular broadcaster and videographer. He has also worked with the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society (WRAPS) during their summer arts camps to teach young participants how to write, film and direct their own films.

Smart has also taken the stage for two WRAPS theater productions in Ashcroft, appearing in Half way through a summer night in 2012 and A murder is announced in 2020.

“I look forward to bringing my passion for filmmaking to the Thompson-Nicola area,” Smart said in a statement. “My parents told me that if I remembered my school work half as well as I can quote a movie, I would be a ‘smart’ man.

“Living in Cache Creek during this time has provided me with a unique opportunity to not only work on films in the TNRD catchment area, but many other productions throughout British Columbia. I now look forward to take up the challenge from another side of the film, with the role of film commissioner.

Smart will be just the TNFC’s second film commissioner, succeeding Weller, who will retire later this spring. She was hired as the first-ever TNFC Film Commissioner in April 2000 and has spent the past 22 years helping to grow the local film industry and attract top film productions to the Thompson-Nicola area. The region competes with locations around the world to attract film productions, including parts of British Columbia and Canada, the Southwest United States, Mexico, the Middle East, Tibet, from Australia, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil and Japan.

“Since I started as Film Commissioner 22 years ago, the film industry has changed and the Film Commission has had to evolve with it,” Weller said in a statement. “I feel grateful and blessed to have been able to work at a job I love, with a supportive organization of kind and resourceful staff, and with a supportive, progressive and confident Board of Directors.

“I am so proud of our local filmmakers, crew and actors, who are now working professionally to create world-class films, documentaries and shorts. I am grateful to all TNRD residents, venue owners and businesses who shared their expertise and resources as we worked together to attract and facilitate film productions.

The TNFC is a full-time, full-service department of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), which markets the region worldwide and facilitates all types of film productions. The Film Commissioner is a member of the TNRD management team and reports to the Director General.

In 2021, over $8.5 million was spent in the TNRD region by film production companies, resulting in approximately $25 million in incidental spending. Production companies spent a combined 329 filming days in the region, making 2021 the busiest year for filming on record in the TNRD.

A number of feature films have already committed to filming in the Thompson-Nicola area in 2022. Discussions are also continuing on the construction of a proposed film studio in the area, following a feasibility study of a movie studio that was recently completed and presented to the board. in February 2022.


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(left to right) Marina Papais, new Thompson-Nicola film commissioner Gareth Smart, Gaurangi Benner-Tapia and Matthias Sampson during a dramatic moment in ‘A Murder is Announced’ in Ashcroft in March 2020. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)


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