Knoxville is one of Top 10 towns for filmmakers

Knoxville has been recognized as a haven for filmmakers by MovieMaker Magazine.

The publication put Knoxville on its Top 10 list of Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker.

The magazine placed Knoxville at No. 7 on its 2019 list of small cities and towns. It also has a list of big cities.

This is the first time that Knoxville has been recognized on this list since the Visit Knoxville Film Office was established in 2013, according to a Visit Knoxville press release.

“This recognition by MovieMaker Magazine is a thrilling validation and recognizes the talent and hard work of our entire community,” said Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas in the release.

“This honor also specifically speaks to what Curt Willis, director of the Visit Knoxville Film Office, has accomplished over the past few years as well as the incredible destination that Knoxville continues to prove itself to be.”

Here is a complete list of MovieMaker’s Top 10 small cities and towns for filmmakers.

1 Savannah, Georgia 2 New Orleans, Louisiana 3 Santa Fe, New Mexico 4 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 5 Cincinnati, Ohio 6 Ashland, Oregon 7 Knoxville, Tennessee 8 Kansas City, Missouri 9 Providence, Rhode Island 10 Richmond, Virginia. In its Knoxville section, the magazine notes some Knoxville-filmed movies including “October Sky” and “The Last Movie Star.”

 “Aside from being known as the city that birthed Quentin Tarantino and lent his L.A. crime sagas a Southern swagger, a handful of memorable films have lensed in Knoxville, including the Jake Gyllenhaal-starring rocketry drama ‘October Sky,’ 2004’s Asia Argento-directed literary adaptation ‘The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,’ as well as Burt Reynolds’ semi-autobiographical 2017 swansong ‘The Last Movie Star,’” the magazine wrote.

Films flock to Knoxville in 2018

In 2018, five feature films shot in Knoxville, and more are coming in 2019, Willis said in a News Sentinel story.

Knoxville has statewide and local filming incentives for filmmakers.

The Tennessee Entertainment Commission offers a 25 percent grant-based incentive for filmmakers, and Knoxville also gives an additional 5 percent cash rebate to qualifying productions, according to the press release.

Other perks include a free permitting process for filmmakers, varied locales and local experienced production crew.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Maggie Jones

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit


Published March 22, 2019