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SPECIAL REPORT: Film industry economic impact in Imperial Valley

News 11's Mercedes Martinez takes a dive into the role the film industry plays in Imperial County.

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - From big screen movies like "Jumanji" and "La Bamba" to music videos and commercials, directors and producers have gravitated to the "post apocalyptic" setting the Imperial valley has to offer.

The valley’s scenic opportunities for film playing a big role in Imperial County’s economy, helping local businesses and individuals.

Southwest security holds about 240 security guards. Employees have been on sets of commercials, feature films, tv episodes and even on the set of the movie, "Jarhead."

Klaryssa Garcia owner of Beauty Mark Salon in Imperial was contacted by an L.A based production crew to help on set of a Korean commercial.

“I’ve never worked on a commercial before so the fact that I had that opportunity, I wanted to go ahead and accept that and experience that for myself,” said Garcia.

Imperial County Film Commission director, Charla Teeters said, “the filming in our county per year ranges from $2 to $7 million.”

That range took an economic dip when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The imperial County Film Commission says they saw $550,000 come in for the year of 2020.

It was a better sight the year after in 2021 seeing almost $2 million come in.

Manual baez, a local filmmaker from Brawley had his short, “A Better Murmur” premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

He is now working to shoot a feature of his short using the resources in Imperial Valley.

After the pandemic caused a pause on many things, the Imperial County Film Commission is glad to announce the return of the Imperial Valley Film Festival in Spring of 2023.

Article Topic Follows: Special Reports

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

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