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Thomasville native instrumental in town’s starring role

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Allen Cheney has always seen the potential in his hometown of Thomasville, GA. Now, he’s proud to say, the film industry sees it, too.

Allen, a graduate of Thomasville’s Brookwood High School and LaGrange College, is a producer of “Tiger Rising,” filming in the south Georgia town. Starring Queen Latifah, Dennis Quaid and Katherine McPhee, the film is expected to generate more than $1 million in economic benefits to the town. Those working with the production have filled nearly every hotel room in Thomasville, and nearly 100 local residents are involved as extras.

Allen Cheney 1

“It’s great to be doing what I love in a place that I love,” says Allen, now a producer based in Los Angeles. “It is a dream for me to marry these two worlds together.”

Allen’s family has deep roots in Thomasville. He grew up there with his two brothers, and his father is a CEO of a Thomasville-based company. Both grandfathers were civic leaders, one as a physician, another as contributor to the performing arts.

After graduating from college, Allen moved to Nashville to pursue music, and made extra money working on music videos. That led to a friendship and partnership with producer Ryan Smith, and the two produced the 2016 independent film “Some Freaks,” starring Thomas Mann.

Since that time, Allen has worked to encourage well-known producers and influencers to see Thomasville in a starring role. He’s flown people to Atlanta, driven them around Thomasville, and pitched the potential of the town.

“I know this town and this community so well, and I knew I could make this work,” says Allen. “This is my opportunity to give back to Thomasville. My goal is for this to be the first of many, and to spend as much of the production budget locally as possible.”


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