Hollywood, Texas

Austin lands starring role on list of top film-friendly cities in America

Austin lands starring role on list of top film-friendly cities in U.S.

Austin Film Society
MovieMaker named Austin one of the best big cities to live and work as a filmmaker. Photo courtesy of Austin Film Society

UPDATE: A previous version of this story cited the 2017 list; it has been updated to reflect the 2018 rankings.


Austin is ready for its close-up. MovieMaker, a leading resource on the art and business of making movies, has ranked the state capital as the No. 9 best city for filmmakers in 2018. 

The magazine assessed the best cities in North America by taking into account film production in 2017 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated); film community and culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations); access to equipment and facilities, tax incentives, cost of living; and a general category that encapsulates lifestyle, weather, transportation, and other socio-cultural markers.

The results are divided into two lists: the best 15 big cities (with a population of 400,000 and up) to live and work as a filmmaker, and the best five small towns for those who want a more intimate setting for shooting.

Each list ends with three cities that are “on the cusp” of breaking the top 15, including San Antonio, which tied with Seattle and Miami among big cities.

Atlanta topped the big city list at No. 1 followed by Vancouver, Canada (No. 2) and Los Angeles (No. 3). New York City fell from the top spot in 2017 to No. 5.

Here in Texas, Houston (No. 15) also made the cut while San Antonio was declared a city "on the cusp." 

Rounding out the top three best small cities for filmmaking is New Orleans, Savannah, Georgia, and Santa Fe.