Updated Feb. 8, 11:32 a.m. We updated this article to reflect nuances of the film crew’s name and legalities surrounding calling it a “Lifetime movie”
Over the past two weeks in Gulfport, people have noticed a film production company – RcR Cinema – working across the city. While some assumed it was the announced Jebus film, made locally, starting to roll, no dice. The film? The (potential) Lifetime movie Moonlight Bay, a romantic comedy, and it’s set in South Pinellas.
Although the crew called it a Lifetime movie, you may see Moonlight Bay on Lifetime, Hallmark, or another channel.
“We can’t really claim that it is a Lifetime movie, because it hasn’t been sold to them yet,” Josh Noftz, the production supervisor Moonlight Bay, told The Gabber. “This one will likely end up on Hallmark Channel, but even that isn’t a sure thing.”
While the crew, some local to the Tampa Bay area, has filmed in Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Pete, Noftz sang the praises of both Gulfport city staff and Gulfportians.
“Justin’s been awesome,” Noftz, who also owns J.T.’s Roadhouse in Tampa (which he bought during the pandemic), told The Gabber, referring to Justin Shea, Gulfport’s Cultural Events Supervisor. “We’ve been working with David Goff [of Pia’s Trattoria] and Elliot at GulfPerk. They’re amazing.”
Noftz said the production company went through the proper channels in obtaining permits and permissions with the City of Gulfport. Shea confirmed that was, indeed, the case.
Gulfport businesses and ambience provide the flavor for the film.
“We have the cutest little town that makes a wonderful backdrop for cute little comedy – or murder mystery,” Stacey Purcell, a board member on the Gulfport Merchants Chamber of Commerce, told The Gabber.
The RcR Cinema filmed at Gulfport’s Clymer Park last week, and at Pia’s Trattoria and the waterfront on Feb. 6. Next week, they’ll set up their cameras inside the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club.
Some of the crew made a point to mention how much they enjoyed Gulfport, noting the overall vibe in the area. Plus, Noftz said, “this is great for artists.”
Moonlight Bay has no release date yet, but when it comes out, Gulfport residents will likely see plenty of their city by the sea on the screen.