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Stars of upcoming Hunger Games sequel spotted
Amicalola Falls considered possible shooting location
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The rumors started a few weeks ago that scenes for the popular "Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire," would be filmed in Dawsonville.

While a press release distributed by Lionsgate entertainment last week listed "only existing locations in and near Atlanta" as the film's primary shooting sites, locals are hopeful after seeing a few of the film's stars at area shops in recent days.

Debby Joyner, a barista at a local coffee shop, was working the counter when she noticed a crowd gathering at the location in Kroger.

"It was really busy at that time and I looked up from working and there were a lot of people. I thought, ‘Gosh, why are there so many people' and one of my customers said: ‘Debby, don't you know who that is? That's the actors from the "Hunger Games,"'" she said. "I was so excited because I was reading the third book."

Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence, who are reprising their roles in the sequel, were also reportedly seen shopping at the outlet mall the same day.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there was still no official word that scenes will be filmed in Dawson County, though an official with Amicalola Falls State Park has said representatives with the film have been in contact with him.

"There has been some interest in shooting at Amicalola Falls, but there has been nothing definite in place yet," said Matt Owens, site manager at the park.

According to the release, filming began Sept. 10 in the Atlanta area and will be shot on location on the beaches and jungle of Hawaii before wrapping up in late December.

The movie is set to be released worldwide Nov. 22, 2013.

The movie also stars Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland.

The possible filming in Dawsonville comes on the heels of the release of "Trouble with the Curve," a movie starring Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams that shot scenes at Amicalola Lodge just west of downtown Dawsonville earlier this year.

"Trouble with the Curve" hits theaters Friday and is already receiving rave reviews.

Georgia has been one of the country's leading locations for Hollywood film production for a couple of years, thanks to the tax breaks and incentives the state offers.

Passed in 2008, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Act gives production companies a 20 percent tax credit if the company spends a minimum of $500,000 on production and post-production in the state.

Lionsgate was the first company to take advantage of the state's film tax incentive, according to Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey.

"Lionsgate has been a longtime partner of Georgia's entertainment industry. The fact that they are continuing to bring productions including this high profile franchise to Georgia reaffirms their commitment to our talented crew, diverse locations and accessibility," he said.

Staff writer Chelsea Thomas contributed to this story.