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Film, TV Productions Add $18M To Westchester's Economy

Meryl Streep in "Ricki and the Flash"
Meryl Streep in "Ricki and the Flash" Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. –The film and television industry boosted the Westchester economy by $18 million in 2014, up from $13.8 million in 2013, mostly due to 32 percent increase in on-location production days.

The numbers are part of an economic report compiled by Westchester County’s Office of Tourism & Film. The report includes a 2014 survey of local municipalities, which showed that 90 percent of the county’s cities, towns and villages received revenue from the film and television industry; 66 percent of film productions patronized local businesses; and 25 percent hired local vendors.

“The film industry in Westchester has never been bigger,” said County Executive Rob Astorino. “We are enjoying a starring role in Hollywood’s featured films and successful television programs because of our incredible and diverse locations—from beautiful parks and shorelines, to historic Main Streets, charming neighborhoods and bustling urban sites. In addition, our team from Tourism & Film has the knowledge to provide expert service to facilitate production in film-friendly Westchester County.”

Productions filmed in Westchester earned 29 Emmy nominations in 2014 and 28 in 2015. Top rated shows, including “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “The Good Wife” (CBS) and “Girls” (HBO) have been recognized for acting, directing and casting, among other categories. Shows filmed in Westchester also earned nine Golden Globe nominations in 2014.

The film and television industry’s interest in Westchester is expected to continue this year, fueled by repeat television series and the release of upcoming featured films, including “Ricki and The Flash,” starring Meryl Streep.

For Westchester’s municipalities, filming can provide a welcome revenue boost. “We’ve collected $60,000 in fees over the past two years, and $34,000 so far in 2015,” said Bedford Town Clerk Lisbeth “Boo” Fumagalli.

The City of Rye reports that film has been a blessing for them as well, citing over $100,000 in permit revenue generated over the past two years.

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