D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The Magnolia State has been seeing itself more and more on the silver screen these days. Movies like "The Help," "Get On Up" and many others have been bringing Hollywood to Mississippi.
One native Mississippian is using his filmmaking talents to keep more of the industry in the state.
"To be able to look at the fruits of your labor and see that you've actually moved people and touched people in some way. That's what we as artists dream of," said Miles Doleac.
He is seeing his dream become a reality. Doleac wrote, directed and starred in
'The Historian," a feature film about a history professor and his trials, tribulations and relationship issues in a new job.
It was all filmed in South Mississippi, and now his film is showing in two Mississippi theatres.
"It's a bold new world of television and film production right now," said Doleac.
In the past, he said the industry required films to be shot in places like New York and Los Angeles, but times have changed. He hopes his movie will show that.
So far, the word has been spreading.
Doleac plans to keep putting our state on the big screen in hopes that Hollywood will see what we have to offer. He has gotten used to people from outside the state being blown away by his film.
"They say to me, 'Where did you find those amazing locations? Where was this film shot?' I'm like, well, it was shot in Hattiesburg and Biloxi, MS. 'No! Where is that University?' Well it's the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg," said Doleac.
He has decided to focus his talents on making films in Mississippi through his production company, Historia Films. His associate producer, Jase Payne, says attention from "The Historian" has already been making waves in the industry.
"You have these Hollywood actors coming in, and when they're leaving, saying, 'We want to be back as soon as possible,'" said Payne
He said it's time for locals to start investing in local filmmakers, because these artists have stories the world needs to hear.
"As Mississippians, who else better to tell the story," said Payne.
"The Historian" will be playing at the Grand Theatres in D'Iberville and Hattiesburg this week. If the film is successful, its stay could be extended.
The film's opening night in Hattiesburg showed promise, competing with movies like "Big Hero 6" and "Interstellar."
Doleac and Payne are working on another film that should begin shooting in Mississippi this summer titled "The Hollow."