Richmond named one of top 10 cities for filmmakers

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More good news for Virginia's film industry.  MovieMaker Magazine has named Richmond one of the top 10 cities for filmmakers.  We share the list with several much bigger cities including Los Angeles and Boston.

From made for TV movies to box office hits, you've likely seen a number of films made right here in your own backyard, and this weekend, there's a chance to see even more Virginia features come to life on the big screen.

Richmond is a hit with filmmakers this month, cited as one of the best places to make a movie.

"Richmond is smaller than these other cities on the list, but you know what, we are smaller, so our arts are more concentrated; these artists are working together making fantastic content, working together as a community, so that's why we are on that list; we are so amazing," said Kathryn Stephens with the Virginia Film Office.

Stephens has been screening some of that amazing talent for this weekend's Independent Film Festival at the Byrd Theatre.

"We'll have documentaries, short films, features, any genre you can imagine," Stephens said.

And from shorts to box office break-outs, Richmond has been part of many major projects.  This fall, producers of the Lifetime movie "Unanswered Prayers" scouted talent and filmed at locations around the metro area.  And Richmond was the backdrop for a scary shootout in a famous film.

"The fish market scene in Hannibal all those years ago was actually downtown Richmond near the trestles," Stephens said.

A few years ago, crews set up shop in and around Richmond to film HBO's award-winning miniseries John Adams.  Producer Tom Hanks even recognized the river city while accepting a Golden Globe.  Mark Remes with Virginia' Production Alliance wasn't a bit surprised Richmond made the top ten list.

"It's a natural; you know we've been in that list before, and yes we do stick out next to the LAs and Chicagos and so forth because we have a really strong creative community here," Remes said.

And the Governor's tax incentives are no doubt playing a part in the added interest for making films here in Richmond; when those were signed into law next year, 10 new projects were generated almost immediately.