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January 5, 2000

Illinois/Governor Salutes Illinois Film Industry For Best Year Ever

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today commended the Illinois film industry, noting that 1999 was the busiest and most successful year ever for film and television production.

"Film projects are an important part of Illinois' economy," Ryan said. "The 49 major projects that took place in Illinois last year created over 17,000 local temporary jobs and pumped a total of $124 million into the communities where the filming took place."

Anchoring Illinois' film industry was CBS' hit series "Early Edition", starring Kyle Chandler. Filmed on-location in Illinois for the past four years, "Early Edition" is the largest project in Illinois film history, and has contributed more than $80 million to the state's economy. Also filming in Illinois were the popular and critically-acclaimed hospital dramas "E.R." and "Chicago Hope", both of which used extensive outdoor and location shots of Chicago in their production.

Highlighting Illinois' movie-making efforts were "High Fidelity", starring Evanston's own John and Joan Cusack, and "Return To Me", starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver and directed by Chicagoan Bonnie Hunt. Other major motion pictures shot in Illinois included "The Visitors", "Unconditional Love", Soul Survivor", "Driven", "Goodbye Sunrise" and "Save the Last Dance".

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' (DCCA) Illinois Film Office provides assistance to the numerous projects that choose Illinois as their location.

"When you take into account all of the different industry elements that are affected by the film industry, including hospitality, construction, animation, and post-production services, it becomes clear that it is in Illinois' best interest to aggressively promote our state as a premier filming location," DCCA Director Pam McDonough said.

The Illinois Film Office is in its 23rd year of operation. Estimates since 1976 show that the motion picture and television industry has pumped more than a billion dollars into the state's economy, creating over 300,000 film-related jobs.


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