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Township's Film Industry Is Ready for Its Close-up

A new state-of-the-art film studio has opened in the Township of Langley, promising to bring with it more than 500 new jobs.

Martini Film Studios is set to open in May, which brings the total available studio space available in Metro Vancouver to over 2.75 million square feet.

The studio will fill the space left behind by Starline Windows. Local actor, producer, and daughter of the owners of Starline Windows, Gemma Martini recognized the demand for sound stages in BC’s film industry. By relocating their family window manufacturing plant to Campbell Heights in Surrey from Walnut Grove North West Langley, she was able to oversee the renovation of turn the building into a modern film studio.

Martini has collaborated with Scott Evans, Vice-President of Canadian Operations for MBS Group, who has more than 31 years’ experience in the BC film industry. He has managed backlot studios for North Shore Studios and Paramount Canada.

Like most businesses, the film industry’s bottom line determines where you film. BC’s film tax incentives are a huge draw for production companies.

Earlier this year, the Township’s film industry received an unexpected incentive when an Order-in-Council realigned the “designated Vancouver area” in the Film and Television Tax Credit regulation. Basically, the provincial government redrew the eastern border line, which ran in a southerly direction along the centreline of 200 Street, to align with the eastern boundary of the City of Surrey. This means all filming in the Township can benefit from the tax credit, too.

Martini is confident that her new film studio has the capacity to support more than 625 direct jobs in the industry. As for Evans, he knows the ripple effect this studio will bring: “With more money coming across the US border for filming, this is going to positively affect the Port Kells (North West Langley and Walnut Grove) area. It will help local businesses -- from restaurants, to accommodation, to lumber supply companies. Everything is going to feel it.”

Today, BC hosts close to 60 per cent of all American television and movie shoots. Within the Township’s economy alone, the film industry injects $35 million a year to what is a $2-billion-a-year industry in BC.