A NEW film office has been opened for the Isle of Wight — aimed at unlocking the potential for the Island to become a location hotspot for the movie industry.

And the people behind it are hoping the Island's own film studio could be opened within the next two years, bringing jobs and regeneration to the Island.

Filmwight has already been seed funded by the Arts Council to get things moving and it hopes to build on the success of the recent The Beast Must Die, which was shot on multiple locations across the Island last year and is due to be screened on Brit Box this year.

The British Film Commission says high-end production spend in the UK in 2020 was over £2.84 billion, with inward investment representing £2.36 billion of that total.

Now, Filmwight is aiming to grab a bigger slice of the pie for the Isle of Wight.

It says location shoots result in tangible earnings for accommodation providers, restaurants, taxi drivers and carpenters right the way through to specialist set designers, lighting technicians and animators.

For example, when Island People, the Sandown-based business, worked to supply locations, cast and services to The Beast Must Die, hundreds of Islanders earned money.

See the trailer for The Beast Must Die

Read more: How the Isle of Wight will be seen globally in new production.

Further back, the Island was used for films such as That'll Be the Day and Victoria and Abdul.

Filmwight has been started by Venture South, an Isle of Wight cultural investment company.

Venture South says Filmwight has been created in response to the IW’s growing creative sector and the need for a central point of contact for the industry.

It is a non-commercial organisation and has appointed Dave Russell, known locally as Meridian Dave, as its film officer.

Isle of Wight County Press: Appuldurcombe House is just one of the locations Filmwight hopes would attract filmmakers. Picture by Gianpaolo Mario Photography.Appuldurcombe House is just one of the locations Filmwight hopes would attract filmmakers. Picture by Gianpaolo Mario Photography.

It has already been endorsed by Creative England, the Isle of Wight Council and members of industry body Film Offices UK, with sponsorship from Wightlink.

Chair of Venture South is Linda Sullivan, a Ventnor undercliff resident with a background in finance for the creative industry.

Another director is Stephen Izatt, owner of the Ventnor Arts Club, who has a marketing and branding career including working with rock legends the Rolling Stones.

Linda said: “We are talking to major players in the film studio world about bringing a studio here within two years. Production companies like being able to do interior scenes close to where they do their location work, so this would increase their spend on the Isle of Wight."

The mission of Venture South is to nurture projects and partnerships that enhance the creative and economic potential of the Isle of Wight.

Linda said: "We know we can generate jobs by encouraging film, TV and advertising companies to use the Island for their location shoots and through our new film office we will promote the Isle of Wight as one of the UK’s most attractive regional production hubs."

She asked that anyone with a skill relevant to the film industry, who offeers accommodation or knows a good location, register at https://www.filmwight.com as it is trying to build up a database of skilled people.

Stephen said: “Throughout history the Island has been attractive to creative people and original thinkers; from Dickens to Karl Marx, Alfred Noyes, Turgenev, Swinburne, Turner, Tennyson — the list is endless.

"We are an attractive place for creatives and I think one of the reasons is we offer space to think and create.

Isle of Wight County Press: Newport Quay is one of the locations Filmwight thinks may attract filmmakers. Picture by Gianpaolo Mario Photography Newport Quay is one of the locations Filmwight thinks may attract filmmakers. Picture by Gianpaolo Mario Photography

"On the Isle of Wight there are wonderful places to inspire artists. This is part of our history and it's part of our future."

Island MP Bob Seely has been involved with the set-up and said: "Filmwight comes out of our desire to see culture and arts at the heart of the Island’s regeneration.

"The seed funding came, in part, out of initial meetings with the Arts Council when I outlined our ideas, back in 2017, to use arts and culture to support a better and more prosperous future for the Island.

"I believe we need to use arts and culture for education, for aspiration and for regeneration.

"I would like to thank Creative England and Arts Council England for their critical support, along with the IW Council and sponsors, Wightlink.”