Rome’s film industry allows North GA native to work close to home

Seth Ingram and Max Martini. Photo by Andy Calvert.

The Rome International Film Festival has been around for 17 years, and Seth Ingram has been running the show since 2015. In that time, he has successfully raised the profile of the event while maintaining his work in film/TV and higher education.

Seth began his higher education in film at the North Carolina School of Arts before completing his graduate work closer to home at Georgia State University. The film industry at the time here was slow. While still dabbling in independent work Seth settled down and started a family. His wife and three children made it even more important to find steady work.

“Georgia’s film industry makes it possible for so many of us to build careers in our home state,” says Seth, who was born in Rome, GA. “As a husband and father, it’s more important than ever for me to make a decent living, If I can do that doing what I love to do that’s a bonus. I enjoy imparting my knowledge and creating opportunities for others.”

Through the connections he made in school and the years that followed, Seth created a path to doing what he loved. During the day you’ll find Seth at the School of Film Studies at Georgia Highlands as a Division Chair, helping build the future of the industry in Georgia. His work includes building a film production pathway in partnership with the Georgia Film Academy, and a Film Studies degree at GHC.

And much like Seth saw an opportunity from the tax credit bringing jobs back to Georgia, the city of Rome and surrounding areas have also taken advantage. Feature films like “The Mule” directed by Clint Eastwood have set up camp in the area, as well as shows like “Stranger Things” and “Ozark, who have filmed in the area in recent years.”

PAM studios recently chose Rome for a studio location. Film production in Rome area is continuing to grow with its small-town appeal and various landscapes that serve as natural backlot. And with that so is the Rome International Film Festival. In the five years since Seth’s arrival, it has attracted celebrities such as Burt Reynolds in 2017, Judge Reinhold, Henry Ian Cusick, Mark Valley in 2018, and Max Martini in 2019. RIFF continues to entertain and educate North Georgians about the film industry while providing opportunity for local and international attendees to meet the right people and advance their career.

“Rome has all natural, beautiful landscapes,” Seth said. “Everyone who comes here loves it and eager to come back.”

The Rome International Film Festival is scheduled for Nov. 12th-22nd. Learn more at www.riffga.com.

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