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Film Office in Kansas City, Missouri, says major productions coming to town

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Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 11, 2024

Thursday was the kickoff of KC FilmFest International, an event that gives local film buffs an opportunity to see new projects.

Eighteen films will have their Kansas City premier at the festival.

The films are shown at the AMC 14 at Ward Parkway.

KSHB 41 reported in September 2023 that the state of Missouri approved film incentives to attract big productions to the state.

After seven months of eligibility, the Kansas City Film Office says it’s working.

Many of the films were made in Kansas City with local talent.

Independent filmmaker Jordan Wight is the co-producer of the film, ‘Out of the Plains.'

The film's showing was sold out Thursday.

“I’ve personally seen the movie 300 times through editing,” Wight said. “I’m very excited to see it with an audience in person and see how people react to it.”

Wight says the film is a modern Western and it's centered around immigrants.

“The throughline of the film is following law enforcement and criminal elements in Kansas City, Kansas and Western Kansas,” he said. “All of our cast and crew are from Kansas City. We filmed in Kansas City. For us to be involved is a great honor for us.”

Rachel Kephart, Director of the KC Film Office, says the new incentives make it lucrative for large and independent projects to film here.

“After the film incentive went into effect, we saw an immediate uptick in interest,” Kephart said.

Wight knows the area's success and he’s ready to see it expand.

“There’s just wonderful locations that make your film look like a million dollars and you don’t have to spend it,” Wight said. “I wish those incentives were around when we filmed.”

The excitement around the local film industry continues to grow.

“The KC film industry is unbelievably busy, which is wonderful, it’s what we always hoped it to be,” Kephart said. “We’ve worked on multiple projects already that have utilized the state incentives. We just wrapped a television series that hired dozens of KC crews and filmed in super historic locations. We have two feature films that are going to start filming in the next couple of weeks, one of which we stole from another state.”

Wight says when productions come to Kansas City, they are impressed with what they find.

“Any place where we can save money and put it on the screen is a huge thing for the community and KC filmmakers,” Wight said. “The more people see films shot in KC, made with KC talent, the more they will be impressed.”

The film office says other Kansas City businesses are getting involved, with hotels, catering, and even homeowners offering film locations.

The festival runs through Sunday, April 14.