‘Christmas Island’ follows a commercial pilot Kate Gabriel, who is captaining a private jet to Switzerland when she is forced to land en route on Christmas Island owing to a thunderstorm. She is nervous that the detour will sour the experience of her passengers and patrons, the Sharpe family, as she hopes to be hired permanently. The seemingly bad news piles up when air traffic controller, Oliver MacLeod, announces that the storm is forecasted to last a week, canceling all flights for the duration.
Hoping to involve Sharpes in the community’s Christmas cheer, she finds herself reluctantly relying on Oliver to awaken her Christmas spirit. Under the direction of David Weaver, ‘Christmas Island’ tells a story of creating opportunity out of setbacks, finding the essence of Christmas, and even discovering romance in unexpected places. The dazzling atmosphere of Christmas Island may leave audiences wondering if its location is set in reality or fantasy.
Christmas Island Filming Spots
In ‘Christmas Island,’ Kate lands her plane at a small airport in the Maritime provinces. This is very close to reality, as the filming of the Hallmark production actually took place in and around Halifax in the province of Nova Scotia, which falls within the Maritimes region. However, the region is a peninsula and not an Island, making the setting of Christmas Island fictional. Although it is a Christmas-themed film, the shooting interestingly took place in the Summer of 2023. The production commenced on August 13 and concluded after a few weeks in the first week of September of the same year.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Most of the principal photography for ‘Christmas Island’ took place in and around Halifax, the capital city of the Nova Scotia province on the East Coast. The sets vary between streets bursting with holiday-themed celebrations, cozy cottage interiors, and rocky beaches. Hallmark movies find Halifax to be a recurring filming destination. Besides being the largest city in its province, Halifax is further popular with filmmakers due to its surrounding terrain of river valleys, rolling hills, rocky cliffsides, and rugged beaches. Its hauntingly beautiful coastal landscapes have drawn a number of prominent films with dark maritime settings, such as ‘Titanic,’ ‘The Lighthouse,’ and ‘Ghost Ship’ to be lensed there.
The cast and crew had a lot of fun during filming. Talking about her experience during the production of this holiday movie, Kate Drummond shared, “Shooting this movie was a highlight of my year… filming in Halifax, with the most incredible people… old friends, new friends… My first ever Christmas movie too! My heart was so damn happy to be going to work everyday (if you can even call it work, when you’re doing what you love).”
Stonehurst, Nova Scotia
Although the movie was extensively shot in Halifax, it does appear that the shooting of a minor portion of the David Weaver directorial took place in another location in Nova Scotia. The cast and crew seemingly visited the fishing village of Stonehurst, located in the Lunenburg Municipal District in Lunenburg County, to tape a few scenes.
Christmas Island Cast
Rachel Skarsten takes the lead in ‘Christmas Island’ as Kate Gabriel, an accomplished pilot who learns to slow down and enjoy the holiday spirit. You must be familiar with the actress owing to her performance in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ as Andrea, Queen Elizabeth I in ‘Reign’ and Alice in ‘Batwoman.’ Her other works include ‘The Royal Nanny,’ ‘Timeless Love,’ ‘Imposters,’ and ‘Molly’s Game.’
Andrew W. Walker portrays Oliver MacLeod, an easy-going air traffic controller who has embraced the festive spirit of the Island and is intent on sharing it with newcomers to the community. Walker can be recognized by his work as Michael Downey in ‘Steel Toes,’ Rick in ‘The Torturer,’ and Jack Carlson in ‘Abducted: Fugitive for Love.’ Over his illustrious career, he has been credited with films such as ‘Curious Caterer: Fatal Vows,’ ‘Against the Wall,’ ‘My Christmas Family Tree,’ and ‘Bottled with Love.’
Apart from the leading actors, ‘Christmas Island’ also features a talented supporting cast consisting of Kate Drummond, Jefferson Brown, Peter MacNeill, Lauren Hammersley, Britt Loder, and Lincoln MacNeil. Additionally, Will Coombs, Anthony L. Jackson, Martina Kelades, Andrew Bigelow, Shelley Thompson, and Lee J. Campbell also shore up supporting roles.
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