The regional film commissioner wants Thompson Rivers University to offer film studies in order to provide labour and skills to lure more productions here.
The public push comes after failure of two private schools in the past decade.
A report to the board of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District recommends a meeting between local politicians “that may result in a bigger picture plan for both parties,” according to a report to the board.
“Without a crew labour pool the TNRD is missing out on attracting low budget urban projects,” wrote Vicci Weller, the board’s executive director of film.
Weller argues the region attracts productions for its unique scenery not available on the Coast. And due to rising costs in the Lower Mainland, low budget productions are looking for a place to go, particularly due to regional tax credits.
A university spokesman said TRU has limited funding that restricts its ability to start new programs requiring new faculty.
But there are efforts at the university to come up with related programming.
Dean of arts Michael Mehta said TRU is moving into “parallel areas” that may help with attracting productions. The university has signed a memorandum of understanding with Washington state-based Digipen Institute of Technology.
The goal is to provide a computer animation stream within the existing bachelor of fine arts program. There is also expected to be a related stream within the faculty of science.
“It’s my hope by fall of 2013 we’d have a bachelor of fine arts of animation ready,” Mehta said. “A lot overlaps with the film industry.”
There is also possibility of field schools within the communications department to look at documentary filmmaking.