ALBURGH – After recent backlash over not filming their Vermont-based holiday movies in the green mountain state, Hallmark has agreed to begin filming future summer beach movies in the state. With global temperatures on an upward trend, Vermont will soon see climate conditions more akin to the Florida of a few decades ago, and state officials are working with the film company to create tax incentives that will make the state a more affordable place to shoot their made-for-TV movies than the popular southern beach states.
“We’re thrilled that Vermont will be better represented on-screen,” said local Director David Giancola. He has been tapped to direct Hallmark’s latest holiday offering, Me, Miami, and I, a Christmas beach movie set in Miami that will be filmed on location at Albugh Dunes State Park. “Vermont is actually a great place to film a movie about Miami, because the state is becoming more diverse, but you don’t see that reflected culturally on-screen.”
Giancola notes that most films set in Vermont feature straight, white, clean-cut actors that don’t represent the diversity of people that he sees every day. Me, Miami, and I, will feature many pierced, tattooed, LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as both of the state’s Cuban residents. In addition to the holiday beach movie, Hallmark has plans to shoot up to three more summer-themed films at the park in Alburgh.
Elaine Sopchak, the special projects director at Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development, spoke favorably about the new deal. “I was so upset when I found out that Vermont movies were being filmed in New York or Canada, so my office took immediate steps to fix the problem. It turns out that renting Alburgh Dunes is far cheaper than renting a beach in Maui or Tampa, even without big tax incentives. As our summers get hotter and hotter, we’re thrilled to welcome Hallmark to the state, to show the world what we really look like, when disguised as somewhere else.”