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The History of Film Making in North Carolina and Eno River Media's Efforts in New Bern, NC

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

By Wesley Haynes

North Carolina has a rich history in the film industry, with its scenic landscapes, diverse locations, and supportive infrastructure attracting filmmakers from around the world. Among the many cities contributing to the state's film legacy, New Bern stands out as a hub for cinematic creativity. Eno River Media, a prominent production company, has played a significant role in bolstering the film industry in New Bern, North Carolina. In this article, we will explore the history of film making in the state and highlight Eno River Media's efforts in supporting the film industry in New Bern.

The Rise of Film Making in North Carolina:

North Carolina's involvement in the film industry can be traced back to the early 20th century. In 1912, Wilmington became the first city in the state to witness the magic of motion pictures with the establishment of the Kalem Film Company. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that North Carolina experienced a significant boom in film production.

The state's enticing landscapes, ranging from picturesque beaches to lush forests, attracted filmmakers seeking diverse locations. Furthermore, North Carolina's competitive tax incentives and supportive infrastructure, including soundstages and experienced crew members, made it an appealing destination for both independent and major film productions.

Eno River Media's Contributions:

Eno River Media, founded in 2005, has been a driving force in promoting the film industry in New Bern, North Carolina. Led by experienced professionals, Eno River Media has actively worked to attract filmmakers to the region, showcasing the city's unique charm and historical significance.

One of Eno River Media's notable achievements was the establishment of the New Bern Film Studio, a state-of-the-art facility equipped with soundstages, production offices, and post-production facilities. This studio has provided a platform for local and international filmmakers to bring their visions to life, contributing to the growth of the film industry in New Bern.

Eno River Media has also played a crucial role in organizing film festivals and events, such as the New Bern Film Festival, which showcases local talent and fosters community engagement. These initiatives not only provide exposure for aspiring filmmakers but also generate economic benefits for the city.

The Impact on New Bern's Economy:

The film industry's presence in New Bern has had a significant positive impact on the city's economy. Film productions bring in revenue through job creation, tourism, and local spending. Crew members, actors, and production teams often spend extended periods in the city, leading to increased bookings in local accommodations, dining establishments, and other businesses.

Moreover, the exposure gained through film productions can attract tourists interested in visiting the locations featured on the big screen. This influx of visitors further stimulates the local economy and encourages business growth.


North Carolina's film industry has a rich history, and New Bern has emerged as a prominent destination for filmmakers. Eno River Media's efforts in promoting the film industry in New Bern, including the establishment of the New Bern Film Studio and organizing film festivals, have been instrumental in attracting filmmakers and boosting the local economy. As the film industry continues to thrive in North Carolina, it is crucial to recognize the contributions of companies like Eno River Media, which have played a pivotal role in creating opportunities for local talent, fostering community engagement, and showcasing the unique charm of New Bern to the world.

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