DOWNTOWN MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- In the last decade, the movie business has really grown in our area.

“We’re doing them for Netflix and Amazon and I think the whole streaming industry also has kind of helped our industry grow here,” said Suzanne Massingill, Talent Agent and Owner of Barefoot Models & Talent.

COVID shutdown filming for more than a year, but this week it is back.

The latest production called ‘About my Father’ starring Robert De Niro started filming on Monday.

“I think it’s really exciting,” Massingill said. “I think the general public loves it and they like to be a part of it, they like to watch it.”

The City of Mobile says on average there are about 52 film projects a year in the city. That number helped greatly by an Alabama film incentive which gives a rebate to eligible productions who film in the state.

“It is a growth industry for the City of Mobile and depending on how we approach it and address it and what resources we’ll put behind it, it will determine the outcome of how big it can grow,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

Besides the film credit, production companies are drawn to our area because of the city’s natural diversity and our southern architecture.

Mayor Stimpson was not able to provide specific economic impact numbers, but he and Massingill say the city benefits greatly from the industry.

“The trickledown effect is huge,” she said. “All the hotels, the restaurants, the caters, the wardrobe, they shop all over town.”

“There are a lot of people that it touches that you don’t even think about, it’s just unique, but we’re uniquely positioned to do a lot more than what we’re doing,” Stimpson said.

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