COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Columbus is vying for a bigger role in Georgia's TV and movie-making industry, and a new studio is part of the local effort.

Flat Rock Studio is a state-of-the-art sound stage and production facility that has been set up by the W.C. Bradley Co., The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported .

The studio is also the new home of Columbus State University's film program. It will provide classroom and support space for more than 50 students enrolled in the school's film certificate program.

"This public-private partnership has moved so rapidly and W.C. Bradley has been absolutely wonderful to let us go in to make sure we have everything in the classroom that needs to be there," said Dana Gibson, a professor and chair of Columbus State's Department of Communication.

The strategy for growth in the program calls for CSU students to learn from professional movie and TV production staff who use the Columbus studio and sound stage — in essence, on-the-job training as interns — which keeps them learning in the area locally rather than having to travel elsewhere in the state.

Some student volunteers were on the Flat Rock Studio set of the Kendrick Brothers' recent on-location production in Columbus of a faith-based movie, "Overcomer," Gibson said. The film is about a cross-country runner searching for her own identity and a stronger faith in the Lord.

The Georgia Film Academy brought in production experts to check out Flat Rock Studio and give W.C. Bradley Co. advice on how to set it up and market it effectively to recruit films to the city, said Richard Baxter, CSU's associate vice president over engagement, economic development and university advancement.

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Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, http://ledger-enquirer.com