GNWT launches new strategy to boost the film industry

Photo courtesy: NWT Film Commission
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The GWNT announced a new strategy which aims to boost the NWT’s film industry.

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek said the GNWT believes a strengthened industry could potentially help in the territory’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

“The focus to 2026 is continued growth with an emphasis on becoming nationally competitive and solidifying a sustainable industry in the Northwest Territories,” said Wawzonek in the Legislative Assembly.


The first initiative from the strategy is set to be announced in the spring.

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There is also the Film Rebate Program, started in 2015, that has given $511,000 to 14 different productions. Wawzonek says that money has led to an additional $5 million in funding into the NWT.

The film industry added $15.5 million to the Northwest Territories’ economic output, and supports 58 jobs.

In 2019, the film industry contributed more than $9 million to the territory’s GDP.

The film industry has been growing in the Northwest Territories over the past few years, and attracting some attention from outside the NWT.

Location managers from Game of Thrones toured the Nahanni National Park Reserve in 2018, scouting potential locations for shoots.

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Background shots used in the green screen production for the Disney film ‘A Wrinkle In Time,’ starring Oprah Winfrey, were shot in the NWT.

A film about Yellowknife’s dump premiered at SXSW, one of the biggest independent film festivals in the world.

A filmmaker who debuted his film at the Dead North Film Festival took his film to the renowned Cannes International Film Festival.

Growing the film industry was identified as one of the ten priority areas in the Yellowknife-Yellowknives Dene joint economic strategy.

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