Film State of Mind

The Film Industry Continues To Have Georgia On Its Mind

With its stunning natural beauty, quirky personality, and world-famous Southern hospitality, Savannah has long been a spot filmmakers have sought out.

But what once was a cottage industry in the Hostess City of the South, with a handful of projects filming in the area in any given year, began picking up steam when the Georgia legislature introduced tax incentives for film and TV productions in 2002.

The momentum increased when the tax incentives were strengthened in 2008 and has grown exponentially in the years since. The three-year-old Savannah Regional Film Commission says the film industry’s total economic impact to the region in 2018 was $254.6 million — up from $137 million in 2017 — with a record $120 million in direct spending.

And they expect 2019’s total to be even greater.

Indeed, the quantity of projects filmed in Savannah and the surrounding area continues to grow almost boundlessly, but the quality has seen an uptick, as well. This year alone, Savannah has been featured in the heart-warming “Peanut Butter Falcon,” which stars Shia LaBeouf and has garnered a 96% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, and the Ang Lee-Will Smith action blockbuster “Gemini Man,” due in theaters Oct. 11.

No matter where you get your TV these days — whether it’s a major network or one of the stand-alone streaming services — you’re bound to end up binging on something set in Savannah. The city’s romantic charm brought Hallmark’s “Love to the Rescue” and “Love Takes Flight” to life, the dark Netflix hit “Ozark” filmed part of season 3 here, and the new NBC drama “Council of Dads,” based on a book by local author Bruce Feiler, not only filmed in Savannah but also takes place here.

Oh, and when the new Disney Plus streaming platform launches in November, it will feature the live-action remake of the Disney classic “Lady and the Tramp,” filmed in … you guessed it … Savannah.

Savannah also lent its rich history and stunning vistas to “The Glorias: A Life on the Road,” an upcoming biopic of feminist icon Gloria Steinem, and the Amazon historical drama “The Underground Railroad.”

Every time someone from Hollywood comes to Savannah, they seem to tap into its unique charm and mystique. The images of this one-of-a-kind place are beamed around the world, prompting a new generation to come and see what Savannah is all about.

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