The film industry in the Hudson Valley "is booming." Many popular local businesses sent welcome baskets as a number of celebrities move into the region.

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Last week, The Orange County New York Tourism and Film Office organized and delivered welcome baskets for the cast and crew of Darren Aronofsky’s film “The Whale” which is currently filming on location at Umbra Sound Stages in Newburgh.

“The film scene in Orange County is booming, and local businesses are excited to welcome the many professionals comprising the films’ producers, directors, cast, and crew to their new home,” Orange County Tourism and Film Director Amanda Dana said. “This gesture is just a small way to remind our ‘film people’ that Orange County is not only a prime location for filming, but a place you definitely want to live, work, and play.”

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“The Whale” stars Brendan Fraser. The film is based on Samuel D. Hunter’s play. Fraser plays an English teacher in Idaho suffering from obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter.

The film also includes “Stranger Things” actress Sadie Sink and Samantha Morton of “The Walking Dead” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” as well as Ty Simpkins and Hong Chau, according to The Orange County New York Tourism and Film Office.

All of the actors received their own welcome basket with items donated by Orange County businesses. Participating businesses included:

  • Finding Home Farms (Greenville)
  • Love Bites Chocolatier (Monroe)
  • City Winery Hudson Valley (Montgomery)
  • Newburgh Brewing Company (Newburgh)
  • Soons Orchards (New Hampton)
  • Brotherhood Winery (Washingtonville)

Filming for “The Whale” began in February and is expected to continue through mid-April. Umbra Stages has been home to the production crew with most of the filming taking place indoors at the company’s Stage 4, an 18,000-square-foot drive-on sound stage.

“I think businesses are really excited to showcase their handmade and locally-produced products to the Hollywood talent making the region their temporary home,” Orange County Film Specialist Nora Martinez said. “Our office maintains a close relationship with Choice Films and many other production companies by assisting with scouting locations, recommending lodging, dining, and accommodations as well as making introductions to key municipalities and leaders. These baskets are a way to help the cast and crew feel welcome and, perhaps, consider making Orange County their permanent home. We plan to do a similar initiative when the cast and crew for HBO’s ‘White House Plumbers’ land here in April.”

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