Forsyth County working toward booking more films after busy 2022

Justine Lookenott
Filming in Los Angeles, 2021Photo byGetty Images

(Forsyth County, GA) Forsyth County’s official film initiative, Film Forsyth, has announced its first film commission after working with several top companies in the industry.

The county received over 28 leads and appeared in nine productions in 2022 alone, including large films by Netflix, 20th Century, Marvel, HBO and Disney.

One of the most recent productions was a Christmas commercial from the Georgia Lottery that was filmed at Digital Ignition in Alpharetta.
Digital Ignition is one of the film locations in Forsyth CountyPhoto byFilm Forsyth

"Our communities in Forsyth have many different unique characteristics, natural settings and a blend of big city and rural community making it an ideal location for productions of all sizes,” said Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alfred John in the announcement. “We welcome the TV and film industry to our community and recognize the impact productions have on our local businesses."

Film Forsyth, which is an initiative of Discover FoCo, helps production companies interested in the area with scouting locations, working on leads and assisting with other needs for filming in the area. The organization says many businesses and individuals involved in the industry are already located in Forsyth County and throughout the state.

The film commission was one of Film Forsyth’s strategic goals, with the goal to “offer support and lend their talents, experiences and creativity to increasing our county's industry appeal and optimizing the processes of getting a proposed project developed from a lead to booked business,” according to the press release.
Denmark High School is one of the filming locations in Forsyth CountyPhoto byFilm Forsyth

The new commission is comprised of nine members:

  • Nathan Bottoms - Bottoms is the owner of the oldest operating tree farm in the county, Bottoms Tree Farm. The farm has been used in several TV shows and commercials. He plans to use his experience in agritourism to help the local film community.
  • Jennifer Caracciolo - Caracciolo is the chief communications officer for the Forsyth County Schools. She has 26 years of experience in K-12 and higher education and has already worked with entertainment teams shooting at local schools. She will assist with productions filming on school property.
  • Jason Hanline - Hanline is a teacher at Forsyth Central High School and has been the director of the Georgia Film Academy’s High School Summer Camp at Trillith Studios for the past two years.
  • Tim Hopkins - Hopkins helped open the Forsyth County Keller Williams Realty office in 2004 and was awarded the Prestigious Realtor of the Year Award for the 400 North Board of Realtors in 2011. Hopkins will utilize his knowledge and experience of local residential and commercial properties to assist in scouting location efforts.
  • Jimmy and Martha McConnell - The McConnells have been the co-presidents of the Historical Society of Cumming/Forsyth County since 2007. They have appeared in several TV, radio, newspaper and magazine articles concerning the county’s history, including an episode of “What on Earth” on the Science Channel. The pair has also done local ancestral research for an episode of “Finding Your Roots” for Broadway star Audra McDonald.
  • Joanne Sanders - Sanders is the president of EWISE Marketing & Communications and the general manager of Digital Ignition, where several TV shows, movies and commercials have been filmed. She is a big advocate for the local film industry and has worked with many filming companies to provide unique filming locations.
  • Melanie Steele - Steele brings 25 years of experience to the commission as a makeup artist and wig master for film, TV, opera, theater, commercials and photography. She will use her vast experience and connections within the industry to assist the commission.
  • Vivian Vakili - Vakili is the director of the county’s Department of Building and Economic Development. She will act as the main connector between the county and the film industry.

"I am looking forward to seeing how Film Forsyth will enhance the relationship with production companies as we see our neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses on the big screen," remarked John.
The Forsyth County Jail is one of the filming locations in Forsyth CountyPhoto byFilm Forsyth

For more information on the new film commission, visit

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA

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