The Ocala Film Foundation is forecasting an additional $238,000 in revenue to the city of Ocala from the second feature film of a director whose first film brought in just over $107,000 to the city.
During Tuesday’s city council meeting, board member Angie Lewis updated council members on the impact the foundation has had on the community and provided some details on the award-winning film that was shot within city limits.
Director Anne Welles, who first discovered Ocala while attending the Ocala Film Festival, showcased the city during the making of her first feature length film entitled “An Accidental Zombie (Named Ted).”
The film ended up garnering Welles “Best Director” at the 2019 L.A. Festival of Cinema and brought approximately $107,223 in revenue to local businesses.
According to Lewis, Welles is back this month scouting locations in Ocala for her second film and projects to spend over twice what she spent during her previous visit.
In addition to the impact from Welles’ film, the foundation has made it a mission to focus on giving back to local students and schools.
In the six years since the Ocala Film Foundation was established, over $35,500 has been awarded to students and classrooms in the form of scholarships and grants.
“We are very passionate about giving back to the students in our community,” said Lewis.
This year, the organization doled out three scholarships to students at Vanguard High School, West Port High School, and Lake Weir High School. All three students intend to pursue film careers and have been accepted at Florida State University, the University of Miami, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
“These are girls that have been very passionate about what’s been happening in Marion County around film,” said Lewis.
Lewis went on to talk about the economic impact the foundation has also had on the Marion Theatre. She indicated that owner Carmen Soto has successfully doubled her sales during film screenings hosted by the foundation over the last year.
For more information on the Ocala Film Foundation and some of the projects they put together, including the Silver Springs International Film Festival, check out their website: Ocala Film Foundation.