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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Cincinnati jumps to No. 11 on 'Best Places To Live And Work For Moviemakers' list

Film Cincinnati

A director's "amazing" experience helps push Cincinnati up two spots, passing Dallas and Miami, on MovieMaker magazine's annual ranking.

Quoting Oscar-nominated director Luca Guadagnino about his "amazing" experience filming Bones and All in Greater Cincinnati, which he described as "beautiful and unseen," MovieMaker magazine elevated Cincinnati to No. 11 in its annual "Best Places To Live and Work As a Moviemaker" ranking.

MovieMaker also cited Oscar-winner Regina King currently filming her Shirley bio pictureabout Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm here with Oscar-winning director John Ridley.

In the past three years, Cincinnati has steadily climbed up the list, from No. 14 in 2020 and No. 13 last year. Along the way the Queen City has passed San Francisco (returning to the list after a one-year absence due to the coronavirus), Dallas and Miami.

MovieMaker wrote: This 200-year-old riverside city continues to enjoy a boom in productions utilizing the state’s inviting tax credit, as well as a wealth of locations that can double for plenty of other places. Director Todd Haynes used Cincinnati for New York City, for example, for his Oscar-nominated romantic period piece Carol.

In the last year, John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) shot his upcoming biopic about America’s first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm, played by Oscar-winner Regina King, and Dune star Timothée Chalamet reunited with his Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino to shoot Bones and All. Guadagnino told Deadline it was “amazing” to work in the area, which he described as “beautiful and unseen.” Cinematographer Juanmi Azpiroz, who shot Hulu’s Frank Grillo action movie Boss Level, relocated from New York to live in the area, and he gives a glowing review.

“I found a team in Cincinnati — talented, good people. I work with them not because it’s easy but because they’re really, really good,” he told the Cincinnati film office. “People across the industry acknowledge the talent of these people. They’re also amazing people. You don’t find that everywhere, especially in this business. I couldn’t ask for more out of this community.”

Cleveland (No. 12) immediately follows Cincinnati for a second consecutive year. Ohio's one-two punch is fueled by the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit program, a $40-million annual program that provides a 30% refundable, transferable tax credit.

“The recognition is a testament to the talented cast and crew who live and work here, and who keep the film industry so strong in Greater Cincinnati,” said Kristen Schlotman, executive director of Film Cincinnati, the non-profit which promotes film and television production in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky,

"Cincinnati has moved up two slots since last year thanks partly to increasing productions, fueled by Ohio’s $40 million commitment to a 30% rebate on projects that spend at least $300,000,” says MovieMaker editor Tim Molloy in the Film Cincinnati announcement. "It’s having a huge moment, drawing productions like Oscar winner John Ridley’s Shirley Chisholm biopic and the Timothée Chalamet film Bones and All."

In 2020, MovieMaker ranked Cincinnati No. 14 because Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway filmedDark Watershere in 2019 for director Todd Haynes and Killer Films, and Oscar-winner Ron Howard shot part ofHillbilly Elegywith Glenn Close and Amy Adams in Middletown.

MovieMaker's top 25 are: (1) Albuquerque; (2) Toronto; (3) Atlanta; (4) Montreal; (5) Boston; (6) Vancouver; (7) Chicago; (8) Austin; (9) Philadelphia; (10) Calgary; (11) Cincinnati; (12) Cleveland; (13) Oklahoma City; (14) Baltimore; (15) Dallas; (16) San Francisco; (17) San Diego; (18) Miami; (19) Kansas City; (20) Memphis; (21) Portland, OR; (22) San Antonio; (23) Washington D.C.; (24) St. Petersburg; and (25) Fort Worth.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.