CONTACT: Krystal Jones
Department of Arts & Culture, 210-207-6730
SAN ANTONIO (January 27, 2021) – The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture and its Film Commission division today announced that San Antonio has been named one of MovieMaker’s Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2021. This is San Antonio’s third consecutive appearance on the annual list following the implementation of the department’s Film Strategic Plan.
“The fact that San Antonio earned this recognition from MovieMaker – even with new safety requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – is encouraging news that demonstrates the progress made possible by our City Department of Arts and Culture’s efforts,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Our work to welcome and encourage filmmakers will continue to provide opportunities for us to become an increasingly desirable location for the film industry.”
MovieMaker determined this year’s winners based on surveys, recent productions, research on production rebates, and information on how each city is coping with the pandemic. Featuring 25 cities, San Antonio joins two other Texas cities on the list (Austin and Dallas) and is highlighted among Albuquerque, Atlanta, and Chicago.
"This was obviously a very different year for our annual list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker — it’s a time of incredible upheaval, but also opportunity. Many in the film and TV industry are looking to change their way of life, and many cities and towns across the country are welcoming these storytellers with open arms,” said MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy.
San Antonio’s continued strategic efforts to develop its film scene, free film permits for City owned properties, and diverse and accessible film locations factored into MovieMaker decision to include the city on its list. In addition, the magazine considered San Antonio’s response to the pandemic as part of the evaluation process. This includes the amendment to the city’s film permit process to include safety requirements, one-on-one guidance for productions provided by Film Commission staff, and support of San Antonio filmmakers and artists with the SA CARES 4 Art Program, which provided up to $5,000 grants to those who lost income due to COVID-19.
Even through the pandemic, with a three-month film permit shutdown and ongoing safety restrictions for film crew sizes, San Antonio experienced an increase in the number of days film crews filmed in the city – with 342 in FY2019 and 348 in FY2020.
“This growth in production days not only showcases an increased interest in filming in San Antonio, but also represents the demand for online and streamed content to substitute for in-person cancelled due to COVID-19,” said Department of Arts & Culture Director Debbie Racca-Sittre. “Filmmakers have proven vital to providing a sense of normalcy through the online delivery of special events, arts and culture programming, business meetings and sessions, and much more. We are proud to support the filmmaking process and of our continued recognition by MovieMaker as a friendly city for filmmakers.”
For MovieMaker’s 2021 list of Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker and complete details, visit MovieMaker.com. For more about filming in San Antonio, visit FilmSanAntonio.com.
Please note: photos of filmmaking in San Antonio are available for use at this link.