Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville will be home to the Georgia Film Academy, according to Bill Foley with parent company Pinewood Atlanta Holdings.
Foley told Fayetteville Planning and Zoning commissioners last week that Pinewood had a letter of intent from the state to place the academy at their production center, which is located across Sandy Creek Road from the Pinewood Atlanta Studios campus. The production center is located in a building designed to be an elementary school before the Fayette County Board of Education sold it to the studio company.
Foley said the academy would initially take 10,000 square feet of production center space to begin courses this fall with about 50 students. “They’re moving in this summer and fall,” he said.
According to Governor Nathan Deal’s office, film and television production had a $5.1 billion impact on Georgia’s economy in 2014, which is up 2000% from $242 million in Fiscal Year 2007. The governor’s office announced Monday that the state’s tourism industry in total generated a record-setting financial impact of $57.1 billion last year, which was partly due to film fans visiting.
Deal said in January that the state is missing out on a greater financial benefit by not having in-state education focused on preparing people for skilled work at movie studios. He announced then that his office was looking for a place to locate the first-ever Georgia Film Academy to meet that need.
Foley told Fayetteville City Council members Thursday night that Pinewood is also talking to other schools that are interested in setting up film courses and basing them at the studio’s production center.