LAFAYETTE – (PRESS RELEASE) Three films made in Lafayette Parish this year are set to premiere over the holidays. These films will feature locations, actors and events familiar to citizens of Lafayette Parish, including Noel Acadien au Village at Acadian Village and downtown Christmas decorations.
|November 22||7 p.m.||The Christmas Contract||Lifetime|
|December 2||8 p.m.||Christmas Cupid’s Arrow||ION|
|December 16||7 p.m.||Hometown Christmas||Lifetime|
The first is The Christmas Contract to premiere on Lifetime on Thanksgiving, November 22 at 7 p.m. The film is a One Tree Hill reunion and stars Hilarie Burton, Robert Buckley, Danneel Ackles, Antwon Tanner, Jordan Ladd, Cheryl Ladd, Bruce Boxleitner, Jason London, Hunter Burke, Teri Wyble, and Ritchie Montgomery with a musical appearance by Tyler Hilton. The film is a holiday homecoming-business arrangement that turns romantic and is set in Lafayette with Mayor-President Joel Robideaux playing himself in the film. Lifetime network will also air a one-hour special, ‘Tis the Season: A One Tree Hill Cast Reunion at 9 p.m., following the premiere of The Christmas Contract. The film synopsis: “It’s Jolie’s (Burton) first time going back home to Louisiana since her devastating breakup with Foster (Burke). Seeing him is inevitable as their parents run the town’s annual Christmas Market together, but when she discovers Foster is bringing home a new girlfriend, Jolie cannot bear the thought of going home alone and seeing them together. Her best friend Naomi (Ackles) suggests that Jolie bring her flaky brother, Jack (Buckley), home for Christmas as he has no plans this year. Jolie, a professional web designer, is hesitant, so Naomi, a lawyer, creates a Christmas contract to give them both something they want: a buffer for those awkward moments around Jolie’s ex and a website to help sell Jack’s upcoming novel. Unbeknownst to them, the Christmas contract proves to be so much more than what they signed up for.”
On December 2 at 8 p.m., ION television network will premiere Christmas Cupid’s Arrow, starring Elizabeth Harnois, Jonathan Togo, Chad Michael Collins, Sasha Jackson and Lafayette native Marcus Lyle Brown. The movie was made in Lafayette, including downtown locations and businesses. The film synopsis: “Holly, a professor at a small college, has had a long history of finding the wrong guy. She’s accomplished quite a bit in her life, but after her younger sister announces she is pregnant, Holly decides she is going to make an effort to meet Mr. Right. Meanwhile, David, another professor, is a single father, very smart and kind, but not the type that Holly takes notice of when the two are assigned to plan the Christmas Formal. At the insistence of her best friend, Holly signs up for the dating website “Cupid’s Arrow,” where she meets Josh, an attorney just hired by the school. He’s everything she wants on the surface but has little to say beyond his work and good looks. Josh and David were roommates in college, so Josh recruits David to write poetic messages in an attempt to win Holly over. Eventually, Holly notices that Josh’s spoken words don’t match the glowing, beautifully written texts and emails she’s grown to adore. After confronting Josh, she begins to realize that the man she fell in love with may just be the one who wrote those words to her.”
On December 16 at 7 p.m. on Lifetime, Hometown Christmas premieres starring Beverley Mitchell, Stephen Colletti, Melissa Gilbert and Danny Boaz. The film was made in Youngsville and features several familiar sites. The film synopsis: “Back in Louisiana for Christmas, Noelle Collins (Mitchell) has big plans to resurrect the town’s live nativity, a beloved tradition that her late mother used to put on. Things become complicated, however, when Noelle runs into her high school sweetheart, Nick Russell (Colletti), a rising baseball star also back home due to a recent injury. Still feeling the burn from their senior year breakup, their lives are pushed together even further when they learn their parents share an attraction and want to be more than just friends. When things begin to fall apart with the live nativity, Nick and Noelle reluctantly team up to pull off the show and find themselves growing close, uncovering a hometown love for each other and the joy of Christmas that both never really faded away.”
These are just three of the ten films made, currently in production, or scheduled for production in Lafayette this year. Active Entertainment produced both The Christmas Contract and Hometown Christmas while Lighthouse Pictures produced Christmas Cupid’s Arrow. Earlier this year, Curmudgeon Films filmed You Might Be The Killer in Lafayette, which premiered on SyFy in October. These companies are boosting the film economy in Lafayette through production costs, renting local facilities and offering jobs for citizens of Lafayette. In addition to these benefits, the movies feature local businesses and assets as settings for the films made in Lafayette, which helps to promote Lafayette to a global audience. The increase in film activity is partially due to collaborative efforts through Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s cultural economy initiative, known as CREATE (Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism and Economy).
Through the CREATE Initiative, Robideaux is partnering with Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (LCVC), and several other partners to make Lafayette an attractive location for filmmakers.
In response to the film industry requests in Lafayette, the CREATE office has created a film resource package available to assist in communicating benefits and permit information for potential productions. More information is available at CREATELafayette.la/film
Robideaux unveiled CREATE at his 2017 Annual Address to bring attention to the importance of the local cultural and recreational economy. Since then, Lafayette Parish voters approved $500,000 in annual funding for CREATE. This important initiative will celebrate, support and grow the Lafayette Parish creative community and enhance its potential as a lead economic driver.
Studies show that Lafayette’s local culture provides for the second largest economy and employer in the parish. Through sustained focus, CREATE aims to further galvanize and diversify commerce associated with artistic, cultural and recreational opportunities in the area for more jobs and greater community economic growth.