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World's largest film studio set for Montreal

Candiac, Que. - Construction is set to begin in October on a $40-million film studio billed as the world's largest by the two major U.S. production companies collaborating on the project.

Montreal International, a private economic development agency, said Thursday it's combining forces with WonderWorks Entertainment Group and Avondale Pictures, both of Los Angeles, to build the studio in the Montreal suburb of Candiac, Que.

The studio is slated for completion next April and will create 500 construction jobs, Montreal International president Jacques Girard said at a news conference.

Studio developers said they chose the site after visiting a number of other locations in Toronto and Vancouver.

The entire complex will measure 18,900 square metres and include the "largest shooting stage in the world." It is to be financed entirely by the private sector.

"Metropolitan Montreal's reputation as a film city is well-established," said WonderWorks president John Palmer.

"Without a doubt Montreal's film expertise will provide an excellent backdrop for our film and television productions."

Palmer said the film complex will allow two productions to be shot simultaneously and will feature studios for special effects, digital post-production, and models and miniatures.

Earlier this week, four new studios were officially opened in Montreal, built for $15 million, including $4 million from the Quebec and federal governments. They will be added to other studios already operated by Mel's Cinema City and Locations Michel Trudel.

The province says filmmaking is the seventh-largest industry in Montreal, employing some 36,400 directly and indirectly.

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