The Memphis & Shelby County Film Commission announced Wednesday that the bluff city has been ranked on a new list of the Top 15 U.S. Movie Cities by MovieMaker Magazine.
(FILM COMMISSION NEWS RELEASE)
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., and The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission are pleased to announce that for the fourth consecutive year, Memphis has won a place on MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 15 U.S. Movie Cities List – this year winning the #10 slot!
“Memphis’ inclusion in this list is proof of what we already know: That our city is a great one in which to live and work as a moviemaker,” stated Mayor Strickland. He continued: “I’m proud of the work of Linn Sitler and the Film and Television Commission. And I’m appreciative of the work of Governor Haslam, Senator Norris, and all of state government when it comes to incentives for film and TV projects.”
Shelby County Mayor Luttrell added: “This is great news for our community. It will promote tourism and the growing opportunities for entertainment companies to use Memphis and Shelby County as a base for their productions.”
Selected from written presentations submitted by city film commissions from across the country, Memphis won this year’s ranking based on a written presentation submitted by The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, a City/County Agency.
Compiled by Film Commissioner Linn Sitler, the presentation reported the Commission’s “best year in history” –based on the local spend of such big budget clients as Country Music Television’s “Million Dollar Quartet”/aka “Sun Records.” The 8-episode TV series –incentivized with the Tennessee Entertainment Commission’s 25% cash refund incentive – left almost $7 million direct spend in the local economy, according to documents provided by the production’s accountants.
Enhancing the Commission’s big-budget clients were award-winning contributions from the Memphis independent film scene, including Commission client, “Free in Deed” – nominated for four “Independent Spirit Awards.” Indie Memphis Film Festival…On-Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest… WLOK’s Black Film Festival…Outflix: The LGBTQ Film Festival for the Mid-South– all were included in Sitler’s presentation to create a clear, accurate profile of Memphis as a city where film is embraced – wherein a filmmaker can live and work in the most supportive of environments.
Other factors such as cost of living and the number of independent movie theatres were also presented. Malco Theatres, Inc. helped round out in a major way the city’s outstanding offerings to filmmakers. As one of the country’s largest independent theatre chains, it is famous nation-wide for the unique support it has historically shown to both emerging and established filmmakers. Through screenings and limited runs for first-time filmmakers, Malco Theatres, Inc., along with the work of The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission and Indie Memphis Film Festival were prominently presented as the city’s linchpins in supporting the film industry.
Finally, Sitler also noted in the presentation the unique treasure presented by the 2016 opening of Baobab Filmhouse, which celebrates the cinematic work of Black filmmakers and talent by screening independent films that “reflect the true reality of Black people around the world.”