B.C.'s motion picture industry is a bright spot in the current economic gloom, bringing in $1.2 billion in 2008, an increase of more than $250 million over 2007.

Provincial Arts minister Bill Bennett said the numbers proved B.C. continued to be an important location for international filmmakers due to "our stunning locations, skilled professional workforce and world-class motion picture infrastructure."

According to data released Monday by the BC Film Commission, total motion picture production spending and numbers of projects in British Columbia in 2008 are up almost 30 per cent over 2007, with the majority of the increase in foreign feature film activity.

While domestic spending as a whole decreased slightly, domestic animation spending increased 79 per cent, to over $96 million, compared to $53 million in 2007.

Overall numbers of domestic television and film projects were also up, by 75 per cent and four per cent, respectively.

B.C. is home to the third-largest film and television service production centre in North America, after Los Angeles and New York, markets which both saw drops in overall shooting days in 2008.