Leaders in Pointe Coupee Parish want more film business

Jeanie Andre, Director of Tourism in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Jeanie Andre, Director of Tourism in Pointe Coupee Parish.

NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - Two box office hits filmed here in Louisiana, "12 Years a Slave" and "Dallas Buyers Club" have been nominated for Oscars. For the last several years, the bayou state has become one of the go to places for Hollywood. Now there's another parish hoping to cash in on dreams of being on the big screen.

On any given day, the sun shines down on False River and boaters are in the water. The scene could be the opening shot in any number of movies. For people in New Roads, seeing that is everyday life. But there's a group of people who are hoping that scene makes it in a movie.

"One production company, they called me from Paris, France and they're coming to Pointe Coupee hopefully in February," said Jeanie Andre, the Director of Tourism in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Andre says in the past six to eight months, the movie business has been very interested in Pointe Coupee.

Les Cantrell, the Director of Economic Development in Pointe Coupee, says it's the scenic views are one interest. Location and old world charm are also part of the pull. For example, a vampire movie used the cemetery in the middle of New Roads to film some scenes instead of driving to New Orleans.

"In Bonnie and Clyde, they used the - it's the Wilson Bar Room now, but it was the Wilson Grocery Store," said Andre.

Both Andre and Cantrell came together and formed Film Pointe. It's a committee to attract the movie industry, while still doing their jobs of promoting tourism and economic growth for the parish. They plan to scout places that can be used to shoot documentaries, movies and television series. Securing a series, they say, would help to put Pointe Coupee on the map.

The committee says knowing what they can and can't offer will help producers know if coming to Pointe Coupee is the right decision.

Once they get film crews to the area, restaurants, hotels and other businesses can benefit as well.

"We'll make them feel at home here," said Cantrell.

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