ST. MARYS -- Movie director Mahmoud Shoulizadeh has returned to St. Marys to make his second short film.

His movie, "The Debt," chronicles the struggles of a female soldier returning from Afghanistan after the death of a fellow soldier who was also a good friend.

Her family struggles to overcome the challenges a veteran faces returning home after enduring the horrors of war.

Some filming has already been completed, and the crew and actors will return to finish filming at the end of the month.

In early 2013, Shoulizadeh, who directed Iranian TV for 25 years, made the movie "The Prisoner," which has been shown at major film festivals. The movie was filmed in the old city jail at St. Marys City Hall and in the Camden County Detention Center in Woodbine.

Shoulizadeh said his positive experience during his first visit to Camden County in 2013 is what compelled him to return for his latest film.

"We are so fortunate to have the good people of St. Marys to help this film become its best," he said.

He was first lured to St. Marys by the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance, which helped find locations, get permits and find extras for the movie. It's a service that helps independent or short movie producers stretch their budgets and improve the production of movies filmed in the region, said Doug Vaught, chair of Coastal Georgia Film Alliance.

"We've been told that through our efforts, filmmakers are more than doubling their production values," he said. "Some have even told us they get more than 10 times in value for their investment."

Vaught attributes Shoulizadeh's interest in St. Marys and the surrounding area to the efforts put forth by film alliance volunteers, city leaders and local businesses.

"We roll out the red carpet because we know that film production impacts our local economy in an immediate and positive way," Vaught said. "From restaurants to hotels to retail shops, filmmakers and their crews help to bolster these businesses' bottom lines."

The Coastal Georgia Film Alliance helps find movie locations in Camden, Charlton, Brantley, Liberty and McIntosh counties.

SBlt Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 464-7655.

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