Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for Loving, a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple sued, and their case was ultimately heard in 1967 by the United States Supreme Court, becoming a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality that is still relevant today.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia. Attracting these projects to the Commonwealth helps build the new Virginia economy by generating new revenues, creating good-paying jobs for our citizens and continuing to highlight Virginia’s historical significance.”
“Virginia has become a premiere destination for film and television production, particularly for projects based on historical themes,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The Virginia story is full of chapters that have had a profound influence on the history of the entire country. I am grateful that this story will be told and will be filmed in the Commonwealth, providing good jobs and positively contributing to our economy.”
The film stars Ruth Negga (World War Z, The Samaritan) and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty). It will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) and was inspired by The Loving Story, a documentary that aired on HBO. The documentary was produced and directed by Nancy Buirski. She is also producing the feature film version with Sarah Green, who last worked in Virginia as a producer for the Terrence Malick film The New World. Other producers includeColin Firth, Ged Doherty, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Jack Turner are executive producers.
“Mildred and Richard Loving were not political activists,” said Producer Nancy Buirski. “They considered themselves to be an ordinary couple who loved each other and were willing to fight for the right to live together and raise their children in peace in their home state. We are grateful for the warm welcome we have received in Virginia as we seek to do justice to the story of this courageous couple.”
“This film will certainly bring jobs and revenue to the state, but more than that, it gives us an opportunity to work with exceptional filmmakers while highlighting these remarkable Virginians and their important story,” said Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds.
The project will film in the Central Virginia area and will be eligible for incentive funding. The exact amount will be based on expenditures in the state and certain deliverables to promote Virginia. The annual economic impact of Virginia’s film industry is $382.5 million, and it provides $19.4 million in state and local tax revenue for the Commonwealth, as well as more than 2,000 full time jobs.