Roy Kirkland, a filmmaker in Valdosta, is working hard to put South Georgia on the map when it comes to the film industry.
“It’s time for everybody to jump on the bandwagon so we can shine a spotlight on South Georgia,” said Roy, a native of Willacoochee, GA, about 45 miles north of Valdosta. “We’re proving that you do not have to live in Atlanta or Savannah to make it in Georgia’s film industry.”
Like many other Georgians, his path to the film industry was a bit off the beaten road. Roy lived in Atlanta for a while before his Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. His father urged him to move to Valdosta before passing away, and Roy listened.
Roy started in the furniture business until the market went belly up in 2004 due to the housing market crash. He’ll admit, he was struggling but found that his hobby of film writing would lead him to his present-day business partner, Doug Sebastian, who already had his foot in the door of the film industry. Roy’s writing and Doug’s film experience is a strong combination that is still producing commercials and music videos, but “the big film productions are what we love most.” he says.
The duo’s work includes a documentary called “Cross Burning,” which won best documentary at the New York International Film festival, and their current theatrical release “Spook Bridge,” which was filmed at the legendary bridge in Quitman, Georgia.
This hobby immediately turned into a career and Roy and Doug noticed the lush and amazing things about Valdosta that some others wouldn’t. “The area is so full of talent with singing, writing books, and filming. And the weather is amazing!”
Their work continues, today with a few projects due to be released later this year. Roy also uses his talk show, The Roy Kirkland Show, to keep his audience up to date on projects. “I am passionate about Valdosta and I know that our part of the state will appeal to the rest of Georgia’s film industry sooner rather than later.”
This story is presented in cooperation with the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance. Learn more about the Georgia Studio & Infrastructure Alliance.