6. Providence, Rhode Island
It may be in the country’s tiniest state, but the city of Providence, Rhode Island still packs big punch. With a 25 percent nonrefundable, transferable tax credit to qualified productions with a minimum spend of $100,000, productions with distinguished pedigrees shot here in 2015, including the Scorsese-produced Bleed for This with Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart, the Rooney Mara-driven romance The Discovery, The Purge 3 and November Criminals, with Catherine Keener, David Strathairn and Chloë Grace Moretz.
Providence boasts five schools with film and media programs (the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University among them), five film festivals, including the Academy-qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival, and two independent movie theaters. With surprisingly sprawling soundstages and production facilities, the local film commission calls its homeland “the smallest state with the greatest backlot.”
One of the nation’s oldest cities, the shooting locations in Providence and its immediate surroundings are peerless—historic buildings and a gorgeous downtown, harbors and islands, all four seasons. It’s a city many notable filmmakers call home including comedy masterminds Bobby and Peter Farrelly, and indie-actor favorites Viola Davis and Richard Jenkins.