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Wilmington Ranks On MovieMaker's Best Places To Live And Work

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jan 26, 2021

The Wilmington region has been named on MovieMaker Magazine’s list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, according to an announcement Tuesday from the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.

Wilmington's ranked No. 9 out of 10 in the Small Cities and Towns category on the 2021 list, which also includes a list of the top Big Cities. Wilmington was the only North Carolina location that made it into the overall rankings. The list covers cities and towns in both the U.S. and Canada.

“Wilmington continues to regain its position as a top destination for film and television production business," said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, in the release. 

Wilmington this year has been the stage for the TV series This Country and Hightown, and has lined up two feature films, ISS and Static, two projects in preproduction, according to the commission's website. 

LD Entertainment's space thriller ISS (which stands for International Space Station) stars Chris Messina and Pilou Asbaek, according to a report by DEADLINE. It's slated to start filming in Wilmington in February.

The Wilmington Regional Film Commission is a nonprofit that markets the region to prospective film projects and assists working productions.

Griffin noted the area's crew and dedication of EUE/Screen Gem Studios in Wilmington, as well as the success of the Cucalorus Festival, in making the region a successful film location.

Last year, although the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to a lot of filming early in the year, several productions later rolled cameras in Wilmington, such as Reprisal, Halloween Kills and Scream 5.

The ranking of Small Cities and Towns are: New Orleans (No. 1); Santa Fe, New Mexico (No. 2); Pittsburgh (No. 3); Savannah, Georgia (No. 4); Victoria, British Columbia (No. 5); Providence, Rhode Island (No. 6); Tulsa, Oklahoma (No. 7); Richmond, Virginia (No. 8); Wilmington (No. 9); and Ashland, Oregon (No. 10).

MovieMaker determined the top picks using surveys, research on tax incentives and recent productions, as well as personal visits to most of the locations on the list, stated the release. It also gathered information on how the cities and towns are coping with the pandemic.

The listing has opted out of including New York City and Los Angeles to the Best Places to Live and Work, and moved the cities into the MovieMaker Hall of Fame, to make room for other places on its annual list, which is split into Big Cities and Smaller Cities and Towns, according to Moviemaker.

"This was obviously a very different year for our annual list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker — it’s a time of incredible upheaval, but also opportunity," said MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy, in the release. "Many in the film and TV industry are looking to change their way of life, and many cities and towns across the country are welcoming these storytellers with open arms."

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