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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 remains No. 11 on 'Best Places To Live And Work For Moviemakers' List

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Courtesy Film Cincinnati
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Invision/AP
Robert De Niro is currently in town filming 'The Wise Guys.'

Greater Cincinnati's "diverse range of locations" attracted four more major films to the area in 2022.

Hosting four major films — Regina King's Shirley; The Bikeriders with Austin Butler and Jodie Comer; Turtles All The Way Down starring Isabela Merced; and director Barry Levinson's The Wise Guys with Robert De Niro — helped Cincinnati retain its ranking of No. 11 on Moviemaker magazine's "Best Place To Live and Work As a Moviemaker" among large North American cities.

Thanks to Ohio's 30% refundable tax credit, Cincinnati remains a popular location for Hollywood productions.

"A little bit Midwestern, a little bit Southern, Cincinnati is close enough to Northern Kentucky ... (that) filmmakers can choose from a diverse range of locations across two states," the magazine said.

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John Kiesewetter
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Applebee's Grill + Bar in Fairfield closed for several days in early May for Turtles All The Way Down filming.

That's why Greater Cincinnati worked for The Wise Guys, a 1950s gangster film in production now; The Bikeriders, about a 1960s Midwestern motorcycle club; Shirley, King's film about U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York City) running for president in 1972; and Turtles All The Way Down, adapted from a 2017 John Green novel.

Cincinnati has steadily climbed up the list from No. 14 in 2020, and No. 13 in 2021, to No. 11 last year. Cleveland, the only other Ohio city on the Moviemaker list, fell from No. 12 to No. 18.

"It is a tremendous honor for Cincinnati to maintain its prestigious ranking on the list of top North American cities for film making from Moviemaker Magazine," said Kristen Schlotman, Film Cincinnati executive director, in a media release. "We have seen extraordinary growth and interest in our Cincy region as a great place to work in film and will continue to build on this momentum."

Atlanta was the top city this year, as Moviemaker bumped Albuquerque to fifth.

The top 10:

  • Atlanta
  • Vancouver
  • New Orleans
  • Toronto
  • Albuquerque
  • Montreal
  • Chicago
  • Calgary
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh

Among U.S. cities, Cincinnati was seventh for a second year.

Falling out of the top 10 were Austin (No. 12) and Boston (No. 13). Cincinnati also outranked Dallas, Orlando, Houston, Fort Worth, Orlando, Kansas City, Memphis and Baltimore.

MovieMaker wrote:

Cincinnati is making serious moves, hosting such productions as Shirley, the Regina King biopic of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders, starring Tom Hardy, Austin Butler, Michael Shannon and Jodie Comer, and The Wise Guys, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert De Niro as two different gangsters.

Cincinnati pulled in an estimated $200 million in industry spending last year, thanks in no small part to Ohio’s 30% refundable tax credit on eligible expenses. Film Cincinnati notes that as it attracts bigger and bigger productions, more and more film professionals are moving to town to get hired as locals. What they find is a diverse, friendly city that’s as American as it gets, with a lower-than-average cost of living.

The popping film scene includes the wonderfully inclusive Over the Rhine Film Festival — which we recently rated one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World — as well as the film program at the University of Cincinnati.

A little bit Midwestern, a little bit Southern, Cincinnati is close enough to Northern Kentucky to share an airport. So filmmakers can choose from a diverse range of locations across two states, and more local flavor than the city’s celebrated chili. (To put out the fire we recommend Graeter’s ice cream, just maybe the best we’ve ever had.)

The rankings were based "on surveys with film officials, discussions with filmmakers, independent research into cost of living and quality of life, and, whenever possible, visits to the cities and towns on this list," the magazine said.

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.