PRESS RELEASE: Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that best-selling Virginia author Adriana Trigiani will be returning to her hometown of Big Stone Gap to shoot the film version of her novel of the same name. Originally written as a screenplay, Trigiani turned the script into a book that was the beginning of her successful career as a novelist. Filming is scheduled for this fall.
Governor McDonnell remarked, "The novel Big Stone Gap is Adriana Trigiani's heartwarming tribute to her early life in Southwest Virginia. We are proud of her continuing success as a writer and are thrilled that her uplifting tribute to her hometown will be brought to life on the screen."
Adriana Trigiani commented, "Big Stone Gap and its wonderful residents will always hold a special place in my heart. I am delighted that I will be able to revisit my home in the mountains of Southwest Virginia to shoot the film version of my novel."
Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds noted, "We have been working with Adriana for many years on this film project and couldn't be happier that it will be made in Virginia. Films have a positive impact on travel and tourism. Having a film by a popular author like Adriana that is shot in the exact place depicted in the book is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on the beauty of Southwest Virginia."
Big Stone Gap Town Manager Pat Murphy stated, "The entire community is thrilled to be a part of this exciting opportunity and we all look forward to supporting the production in every way we can."
Big Stone Gap tells the story of Ave Maria Mulligan, the town's self-proclaimed spinster. She's a thirty-five year old pharmacist who lives a reasonably content life until she discovers that she's not who she always thought she was. The novel is filled with an array of eccentric and lovable characters, and a large dose of small-town wisdom.
Adriana Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, part of a large Italian American family that has inspired many of her books including Cooking With My Sisters, a cookbook and family history. After graduating from college, she moved to New York City where she was a TV and documentary writer/producer for shows that included The Cosby Show and A Different World. Her novels, known for their warmth, humor and wisdom, are often found on best-seller lists and have become favorites of book clubs worldwide. She currently lives in New York with her husband Tim Stephenson the Emmy award-winning lighting designer for the Late Show with David Letterman. They have one daughter, Lucia.
Big Stone Gap is eligible for film incentives up to a total of $600,000 based on the amount of money the production company spends in the Commonwealth, and a $300,000 grant from Virginia's Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.
The film industry in Virginia plays a significant role in the state's economy. In 2011, total economic impact of the film and television industry in Virginia was $394.4 million, a 14.5 percent increase over 2010. In addition, 3,817 jobs were attributed to the film industry in 2011, up from 2,651 jobs in 2010.
For more information about Virginia's film industry, visit the Virginia Film Office website at FilmVirginia.org.