NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – From LA… to AR?

Film crews and actors have been seen in the North Little Rock area this week with further proof that the film boom is continuing in the Natural State.

Many don’t necessarily think of Arkansas as where movies are born, but it’s becoming the backdrop of choice for production companies across the U.S. With a major push from Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane, producers and film crews are starting to prefer Arkansas to other states – thanks in part to our diverse landscape and helpful people that make working easy.

“We’ve got great tax incentives, but we also market our locations and our crew database,” Crane explained, saying it all began with a cash rebate teams could take part in if they worked in the Natural State. “We want everybody to come here and succeed in the state and it keeps bringing people back.”

Besides working as an advertisement for Arkansas’ natural beauty and charm, films shot in the state also give back to the economy. Not only does it create jobs with many film crews being comprised entirely of Arkansans, but it also returns money back to communities: in a study done by the Arkansas Film Commission, every dollar spent in the film industry generates 91 cents somewhere else in Arkansas.

“It’s economic development at its base,” Crane said.

Rick Benattar and co-producer Nigel are in the midst of filming their fifth movie in Arkansas. On their North Little Rock set, they have an extensive crew that handles everything from lighting to camera work, all Arkansans hired directly from within the state.

“The entire crew except for the director and the two producers, all from Arkansas,” Benattar explained, adding, “[we] come here and shoot all of our movies and it’s been a dream.”

This latest endeavor is described as a “female-driven thriller” all about revenge, but it won’t be the duo’s last: two more films are set to be shot by the same producers this summer, all located somewhere in Arkansas.

They’ll join the estimated 16 other movies that were filmed in the Natural State last year, a number that Crane hopes continues to grow.