Ontario reports blockbuster film, TV production year in 2021

Aerial view of Toronto city skyline and the CN tower. Jackee King / Global News

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting a blockbuster 2021 for film and television production.

The province says 394 productions made last year brought in $2.88 billion in spending for the economy.

The figures come from Ontario Creates, a provincial agency that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in creative industries.

The agency says the figures represent more than 48,000 full-time direct and spinoff jobs that could include technicians, production managers, location managers, craft services, post-production experts, accountants, performers and drivers.

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That’s a 38 per cent rise from the 232 productions in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a brief shutdown of film and television work for part of the year.

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Foreign production remained strong in 2021, with expenditures topping $1.9 billion, while domestic film and television production brought in $965 million.

Ontario Creates president Karen Thorne-Stone credited the numbers to the province’s financial incentives, studio expansions and film-friendly locations.

“We are thrilled to see Ontario’s film and television industry leading the province’s economic recovery,” Thorne-Stone said Thursday in a statement.

Recent Ontario-shot productions include the Hulu/CTV series “The Handmaid’s Tale” and CBC’s “Pretty Hard Cases,” along with Sarah Polley’s upcoming film “Women Talking” and the Kevin Hart comedy “The Man from Toronto.”

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