"Country Strong" opens today in theaters nationwide
NASHVILLE – The Screen Gems feature film Country Strong opens in theaters nationwide today, January 07, 2011. The project was filmed in Tennessee and stars Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow, country music superstar Tim McGraw, Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, Friday Night Lights).
“I am thrilled that Country Strong chose Tennessee and its residents to help bring their story to life,” said Tennessee Film Commissioner Perry Gibson. “Having a production of this magnitude in our state provided a significant number of jobs for our production community and the project’s spending created a real boost to the local economy.”
The project is expected to qualify for a 32 percent refund of qualified expenses incurred in the state through a combination of incentives offered by the Film Commission and the Tennessee Department of Revenue. To qualify for both programs at least $1 million must be spent by the production hiring Tennessee residents and vendors, and figures must be audited before incentive payments can be released.
The production company estimates they hired local residents for almost 75 percent of the film’s crew and 90 percent of the film’s cast.
Locally recorded and produced music was also a key factor for the film. More than 50 songs can be heard in the film and performances include the actors Paltrow, Meester and Hedlund, along with Sara Evans, Chris Young, Patty Loveless, Ronnie Dunn and Hank Williams Jr. The soundtrack debuted at #16 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and is currently at #37. The soundtrack has already sold over 38,000 copies according to Neilsen SoundScan.
Writer and director Shana Feste describes the film’s story as one revolving around “a rising young singer-songwriter (Hedlund) who becomes involved with a fallen country singer (Paltrow). As they embark on a career resurrection tour with her husband and manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Meester), romantic entanglements and old demons threaten to derail them all.”
The movie’s producers include actor Tobey McGuire of the Spiderman movie series and Jenno Topping, whose producing credits include Charlie’s Angels, 28 Days and I-Spy.
Country Strong joins a long list of movie and television projects recently filmed in the Volunteer State including: Water for Elephants, Pure Country 2: The Gift, Tough Trade, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Grace Card, Can You Duet, Savage County, Evening Sun, Losing it with Jillian Michaels, Billy: The Early Years and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
For more information on the film, visit http://www.countrystrong-movie.com/
About the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission
The Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission supports the economic development of the film and music community through the recruitment of business by promoting Tennessee as a location in feature films, television productions, commercials and other works. The commission encourages the interactive growth of the film and music communities through a wide range of marketing, networking and advertising efforts. For more information visit http://www.tn.gov/film.