Location News; Mexico’s Cine South looks to branch out

CINE SOUTH de Mexico producer Matt Roe is pushing the merits of Rancho Viejo — a 200-acre ranch one-hour south of the Cancun International Airport.

Dubbed the “only Caribbean beach dedicated exclusively to filming,” the tropical backlot already has been used for Coors Lite, Mexico Tourism, Stouffer Hotels andMastercard commercials. Now, Cine South has turned its focus toward landing television and movie production.

Though it is not the primary drawing card, Rancho Viejo has one feature above the rest — adjustable palm trees.

Roe explains that Cine South de Mexico has installed three fake palm trees on a small island off of the Rancho Viejo beach, which can be tilted or removed according to producers needs.

For more information on Rancho Viejo, adjustable palm trees and other accommodations, call Roe at (213) 876-3879 or Cine South de Mexico president Mark Pittman at 011-525-684-0869.

THIS JUST IN: Castle Rock Entertainment has selected Mansfield, Ohio, for production of “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.” Pre-production is under way. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in June. The shoot ends in August.

Ohio film commissioner Eve Lapolla worked closely with the Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau to land the film, which stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and marks screenwriter Frank Darabont’s directorial debut.

THE GEORGIA FILM and Videotape Office announced that its first feature film for 1993 is director Don Boyd’s “Kleptomania,” which started production Monday in Atlanta. The pic stars Amy Irving as a mother leading a double life of crime.

THE BRITISH FILM Commission announced that 48 feature films went before the cameras in the United Kingdom in 1992 — three fewer than in 1991.

But things are perking up in 1993, the BFC said. Such current projects as Columbia’s “First Knight,” Caravan’s “The Three Musketeers,” Price Entertainment’s “Shadowlands” and two, two-hour movies based on “MacGyver” indicate that production in the U.K. could surge in 1993.

COUNTRY MUSIC STAR Doug Stone filmed the video to his latest song “Made for Loving You” on the beaches of central Florida, the Okaloosa Film Commission has announced. Also, film commissioner Christine Pincince is currently cobbling the financing for a trifold color brochure to promote the region.

TWO NEW TV projects — Empty Chair Prods.’ “On the Street,” and Westholme Prods.’ “Summer”– have inked for production in Washington, the state’s Film and Video Office has announced.

With the popularity of “Northern Exposure,” the state’s television production appears to be on the steady uptick, according to Washington Film and Video Office spokeswoman Leslie Lytel.

The activity has sparked local film gurus to get busy. Washington Film and Video manager Christine Lewis is currently spearheading a bid to build a movie soundstage at the Sand Point Naval Station, which the Navy is due to vacate in 1995.

University of Washington architecture students are currently competing to design alternative uses for Sand Point Naval Station — located on the waterfront of Lake Washington in Seattle. A movie studio figures in each one of the plans.

FRAN ISHII has joined the four-person staff of The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. The organization had had a vacancy for more than a year, when budget cuts forced layoffs. Ishii joins the NJMPTC after stints with Barbour-Langley Productions’ “Cops” and WWOR-TV’s “Nine Broadcast Plaza.”

THE TENNESSEE Film, Entertainment and Music Commission has announced that country crooner Lorrie Morgan will star in The Nashville Network’s “Proudheart”– a one-hour special shot in the Volunteer State.

It is the latest production in what is shaping up as a big year for Tennessee. As previously reported, Paramount Pictures’ “The Thing Called Love” completed principal photography in the state early in1993.

Gov. Ned McWherter said “film production in our state has greatly increased as out-of-state production companies recognize the creative and talented professionals that are based in our state.”

THINGS ARE COOKING in Miami-Dade County Florida, according to Film Television & Print director Deeny Kaplan. There are 25 features and television shows currently in production in the area, including the Robert Duvall/Richard Harris/Shirley MacLaine starrer “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” and the Columbia Pictures TV movie “Andrew Wrath.”

ONE-STOP film permit policies are all the rage. The San Bernardino/Riverside County Film Commission is the latest organization to announce plans for a permit program that will cover all necessary fees and expedite the approval process with county departments across the board.

The one-stop film permit policy will cover all unincorporated areas in San Bernardino County — roughly 12,000 square miles in all.

Modeled after the L.A. County Film Office’s permit program, the San Bernardino-Riverside plan is expected to be up and running within six months, according to film commission director Mark Dowling. For more information, call ( 909) 941-7877.