February 13, 2017
The Rhode Island Film & TV Office is pleased to announce that PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND was ranked #3 as Best Small City/Town for filmmakers on the continent by Moviemaker Magazine. The nation’s leading resource on the art and business of making movies and the world’s most widely read film magazine just announced its 17th annual list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2017” in all of North America, including Canada.
Weeks of research, interviews with film commissions and surveys of moviemakers were conducted to determine the best North American cities in which to practice the craft of cinema. Criteria included the amount of actual film production, support systems in the local film community and culture, such as film schools, festivals, independent movie theatres and film organizations, access to equipment and facilities, tax incentives, cost of living and a general category that encapsulated lifestyle, weather, transportation and other socio-cultural markers.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo stated, “We are honored that Moviemaker Magazine has once again recognized Providence as one of the very best cities in America to live and work as a filmmaker. With our strong crew base and well established supporting infrastructure, along with our superb locations, restaurants, and cultural experiences, Providence, Rhode Island offers everything a filmmaker needs to live and grow while building a career here.”
Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, said, “We are grateful that Moviemaker Magazine has recognized Providence and our Ocean State as a great home to live and work as a filmmaker in all of North America! With the support and assistance of the City of Providence’s Arts, Culture + Tourism Department, we have created an easy, one-stop shop for filmmakers requiring locations, permits, housing and other amenities. In addition, the highly acclaimed Rhode Island International Film Festival annually hosts many filmmakers from around the globe whose first port of call to the United States is our State’s capital. Rhode Island’s very own colleges, universities and technical schools also produce scores of talented individuals in the field, many of whom stay in the area to showcase their amazing work.”
House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello stated, “The House of Representatives has always been very supportive of the filmmaking industry because we truly recognize the benefits to our state’s economy. Our tax credit program is extremely competitive with neighboring states, and we have great workers, scenic and historic settings, and some of the nation’s finest colleges and cultural attractions. We have a thriving film industry that I’m pleased is being recognized by Moviemaker Magazine.”
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, “Filmmakers have taken notice that our beautiful state is an exceptional place to live and work. Rhode Island is both diverse and compact, which lends itself wonderfully to the demands of the film industry. With a talented workforce in the industry, a thriving arts scene, and exceptional quality of life, Providence – and in fact all of Rhode Island – is the perfect place to make movies.”
Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza commented, “Providence is the Creative Capital and film is an important part of Providence’s local economy. Our City staff work hard to make filming in Providence as easy as possible while also addressing needs of those impacted by projects. By working in partnership with the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, we are able to provide the highest levels of customer service to young artists and seasoned filmmakers alike.”
Please find the Moviemaker Magazine article below…
MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE ARTICLE, ISSUE 122
As an independent moviemaker, your life tends to be a mobile one.
You’re forever in search of the perfect landscapes, networks, resources and people to take your film from good to memorable, or even to life-changing. And while you’re at it, if you’re like most of us you often find yourself weighing the pros and cons of picking up stakes and relocating to your next home base, where the work promises to be a little bit steadier and the quality of life just a little bit more to your liking.
Whether you’re considering a move in 2017 or just a new place to shoot, we have you covered. For the 17th year running, after weeks of research, interviews with film commissions and surveys of moviemakers, we’ve assessed and ranked the best North American cities to practice your craft. Notice we said “North American,” not just “American.” In our post-election haze we’ve also included three Canadian cities on this year’s list. (Because, let’s face it, options are not bad things to have.)
Day-to-day living in disparate cities is notoriously difficult to compare, of course, even through the lens of moviemaking. That said, our criteria is as follows: film production in 2016 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated), film community and culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations), access to equipment and facilities, tax incentives, cost of living and a general category that encapsulates lifestyle, weather, transportation and other socio-cultural markers. (“Breweries per capita” is one of them. Seriously.)
This year, we skewed big, compiling a list of 15 big cities (population 400,000 and up—that’s city population, not metro) along with a shorter list of five small cities and towns, for those who like a more intimate setting for creativity. Each list also ends with three cities that were “On the Cusp.” (Who can resist an honorable mention?) As usual, you’ll see some familiar names and some up-and-comers—and yes, one of the lists has a tie for the top spot. We’re confident that the places on these lists offer the finest array of filmic institutions, backdrops and good ol’ community-driven energy available. Sink your roots into any of them, and you really can’t go wrong. What you can do, we hope, is find your people, and from there help to write the next chapter of North American cinema.
Small Cities and Towns: 3. Providence, Rhode Island
Providence has always acquitted itself admirably in the film education area. Its environs in the country’s smallest state are getting even better: A new multi-million-dollar media hub at The Rhode Island Harrington School of Media opened in 2016 at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, adding to Providence’s programs at the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University and other schools.
Little Rhode Island offers a significant tax incentive, too - 25 percent credit with a $100,000 minimum spend. Of the titles that capitalized on that, a couple features made it to Sundance: Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky’s The Polka King, starring Jack Black and Jenny Slate, and Charlie McDowell’s The Discovery, starring Rooney Mara, Jason Segel and Robert Redford, which shot in Newport and Middletown as well as Providence.
(PHOTO) Martin Scorsese addresses guests digitally at the Oscar Night America 2016 event in Providence. Courtesy of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office
Steven Feinberg, executive director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, has amassed a collection of letters over his 13 years in that position, from filmmakers praising the state’s lovely coastlines, its historic preservation, even its lemonade (Del’s). A highlight of his 2016, though, was a note he got from Redford: “While leaving, he sent me a letter and asked me to share it with the Rhode Island community via a local newspaper.” In it, the actor writes that “For me, the welcoming and warm spirit of the community will not soon be forgotten.”
Feinberg was moved: “We are so proud of this letter because he recognized the beauty of our state and our hospitality.” It’s an endorsement that’s hard to argue with.
The Rhode Island Film & TV Office is a government agency under the umbrella of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA)
A letter from Robert Redford