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Hunger Games: Guide to Filming Locations

March 1, 2020
5 min read

Gary Ross’ faithful and affectionate adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s captivating dystopian drama hits the spot with an arrow. It is very rare for teen sci-fi dramas to gain widespread acclaim by critics and public alike, but Ross’ ‘Hunger Games‘ stands out successfully with all that it offers. The film is a riveting portrayal of a post-apocalyptic society filled with violence and exploitation. It is the first of the four installments of the ‘Hunger Games’ series, based on Collin’s acclaimed trilogy.

Set in a futuristic dystopian world, the film centers around Katniss Everdeen, a Tribute from District 12, who must compete in the Hunger Games, a nationally televised event. Tributes (certain youths) from different districts fight to their death and aim to survive until there is only one survivor left. The film innovatively explores themes relating to poverty, class, exploitation, revolution and community through its premise.

Spaces play a pivotal role in ‘Hunger Games‘ both visually and thematically as they portray a futuristic post-apocalyptic side of North America as society crumbles. The future of North America is shown divided as Capitol of Panem, along with the various districts that the Capitol rules. In case you’re wondering where these locations were filmed in real-life, we’re here to help. Here’s everything you need to know.

Where Was Hunger Games Filmed?

Capitol of Panem is portrayed as the technologically advanced utopian city that is inhabited by the privileged ones. The Capitol rules the poverty-stricken Districts, and is supposed to be located in the northwestern section of the former North America, around Rocky Mountains. The 13 Districts of Panem provide resources to the exploitative Capitol.

The years of oppression lead to several civil wars, the first of which is initiated by District 13 and fails. This eventually leads to the Hunger Games being established as a reminder for the citizens to never attempt something like this again. The diverse landscapes and demography of Panem makes one wonder how the world of ‘Hunger Games’ was actually created. In reality, the first installment was entirely filmed in North Carolina, while the locations changed with the other parts.

North Carolina

‘Hunger Games’ was entirely filmed in North Carolina which was recreated as Panem for District 12, the Capitol as well as the Arena. Areas around Asheville and Charlotte were primarily used for filming. Interestingly, District 12 (where the film begins) was filmed in an abandoned ghost village about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte.

District 12

Henry River Mill Village, is a 72-acre textile village which was built in the 1920s as a planned community. It was completely abandoned in the 1980s after the manufacturing collapsed. The village is located south of Hildebran near the Henry River. One can easily spot Katniss’ home in the area, while as the location used as Peeta’s bakery still bears the sign from production.

The Big Ivy Area in North Carolina, which is also known as the Coleman Boundary, was used as the location for the forest where Katniss and Gale hunt. It is northeast of Asheville, located near Barnardsville, and part of Pisgah National Forest. The Corner Rock area around the forest is also used later in the film as a backdrop for the Arena cave Katniss and Peeta hide in.

Shelby was another location used for District 12. Private warehouses in the area reimagined as the district’s barter market with District 12’s “Hob” and “Reaping Ceremony. It is here that Peeta and Katniss are chosen as Tributes by Effie Trinket. The railway tracks around South Morgan Street were recreated as the districts industrial area.

The Capitol

Several scenes of the Capitol were filmed in Concord and Charlotte. The scenes featuring the training center were filmed in the Philip Morris Cabarrus Plant, an abandoned cigarette manufacturer. While, the chariot entrance of the Tributes’ was filmed in Charlotte’s Convention Centre. Another location used in Charlotte includes Knight Theatre where Peeta gives the iconic pre-game interview to Caesar Flickerman.

The Arenas

The Hunger Games finally begin at the Cornucopia after all the ceremonies. In both the film and the book, Cornucopia is a giant golden/silver horn-shaped cone with a curved tail. The games are initiated by the Cornucopia bloodbath where the Tributes compete to for good weapons, food, and other important supplies required for their survival. In the film, the Cornucopia was built on the North Fork Reservoir, Black Mountain, located around 20 miles northeast of Asheville.

DuPont State Forest was another important location in the film and was used for several Arena scenes. The scene where Katniss jumps into waterfall to escape the firestorm was filmed in Bridal Veil Falls in the forest. There is another important scene where Katniss finds a wounded Peeta against the rocks. This scene was filmed in Triple Falls in DuPont. While ‘Hunger Games’ was entirely filmed in different parts of North Carolina, the film’s sequel, ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ changed locations and was filmed in Atlanta and Hawaii.

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