News & Press

Whitney Davis

January 12, 2017 | MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. (WBKO)

Hart County works to establish Southern Kentucky Film Commission

Lights, camera, action! The creation of The Southern Kentucky Film Commission could mean Hollywood-size revenue for towns in Southern Kentucky.

With film commissions for Northern Kentucky and the Louisville area, Hart County Judge Executive Terry Martin said it was time for our area to be added to that list.

"There was no voice for us, and we feel like we've got a lot to offer with locations."

Scenic locations were one bonus, but a statewide 30-35 percent refundable tax credit was an even bigger one.

"We were informed about a year and a half ago of Kentucky's tax incentives being one of the best in the United States. Branscombe Richmond had approached a citizen of our county he knew and told him that Hollywood was coming to make movies, and our location being in the center of the state was prime," explained Judge Executive Martin.

Multiple film directors and producers, including Richmond, have already signed on to the idea of filming in Southern Kentucky. On February 12, Hallmark will release a movie titled 'Strangers in Amish Country' that was filmed on location in Hart County last Fall.

"When they filmed here in Hart County they filmed here for six weeks. They spent over $500,000," said Martin.

From hotels and car rentals to catering and shopping, that was a huge economic boom for not only Hart County, but for the surrounding areas as well. On top of the large tax incentive, Branscombe Richmond told 13 News the southern hospitality his crew received was really what sealed the deal for him.

"The fire department was very helpful, the paramedics were very helpful, police were very helpful, locations were very, very helpful, and real."

Moving forward, the Southern Kentucky Film Commission only wants to further entice directors to film in rural Kentucky. One way the commission plans to do that is by creating a film studio in Hart County that can quickly ship filming equipment anywhere in the state, saving directors the hassle of shipping it all the way from Los Angeles.

With all those benefits combined, Richmond said he felt confident in Kentucky's future within the film industry.

"I think we're pretty good. I think we're strong in a field of many states and countries that come to Hollywood and say 'Please spend your dollars, please film in our state, country or county."

In addition to Hart County, Barren, Warren and Edmonson Counties have also joined the Southern Kentucky Film Commission, and will help to fund it.

You can check our the Southern Kentucky Film Commission website by clicking the link attached to this story.