Chicago film industry sees record year in 2019; ranks first in Midwest

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago and Illinois Film Offices are celebrating a record year for television, film and media production activity in Chicago and around the state.

In total, the Chicago Film Office permitted 522 projects in 2019.

The office now ranks first in the Midwest, third in the country for commercial advertising production and in the top six nationally for overall production, officials said.

According to officials, those productions estimated an economic impact of nearly $560 million in local job creation and expenditures.

"Illinois' film industry is booming, adding millions of dollars and thousands of quality jobs into the state's economy each year. By extending the film tax credit, Governor Pritzker has proven his commitment to supporting the industry and ensuring it continues to succeed and grow" said Peter Hawley, Director of the Illinois Film Office.

The record year of filming brought in 15,000 new non-extra job hires, generating over $350 million in wages, officials said.

Eleven full season series and portions of several others were filmed in Chicago throughout 2019.

"I was born and raised on the south side," said Bashir Salahuddin, Producer and Writer for Comedy Central's South Side. "We wrote a comedy about my hometown. Filming in Chicago is a dream come true. It was crucial for our show that the world be authentic. Filming in Chicago makes sure we get to showcase the best talent from The Windy City."
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