UMD Study Shows Positive Impact of Film Industry on Local Economy and Future Potential through Investment

DULUTH, Minn — The film and content industry in St. Louis County is booming. That’s according to a recent study done by UMD, published earlier this month. They found that in 2022, the film industry created 106 jobs with a total economic impact of $6.9 million. With a larger investment into the industry, the study projected over 200 jobs could be created to go along with a total economic impact of $100 million. One local company has been promoting film and the arts in the northland believing that we live in a place where the industry can thrive and be a boon on the local economy.

“Catalyst’s job was to make it possible for Duluth to be a national leader in the independent film and TV space.  The Northland can be a leader in this industry, has the local people and resources to have an impact, and that it’s having an impact,” said Catalyst Story Institute CEO and executive director Philip Gilpin.

When a film production comes to town, there are more than just actors and stagehands involved. Film producers look to hire locally to fill a wide array of needs when it comes to making a movie.

“We would love to be able to have more people working on film sets. In fact, every project that’s been here thus far has wished that they could hire more people locally. So, we’re working really hard at getting the word out and letting people understand the kinds of positions that are on sets, the kind of jobs that can go with the film industry.  Everything from hospitality, to rentals, to greenery, to all kinds of different things that you may not necessarily always think about,” said Shari Marshik, executive director of Upper Midwest Film Office.

In order to achieve the projected job and economic numbers put out by the UMD study film incentives and workforce development training programs need to be established.

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