Rochester / Finger Lakes Film Commission

Are there tax breaks for filmmakers in upstate NY?

Yes! Any film or video shoot is considered a manufacturing activity, which results in the production of tangible personal property and therefore subject to the same exemptions given to New York manufacturers. For more details visit or call the New York State Business Information Center at 1.800.972.1233

How much local crew is available in your region?

Plenty. We have well equipped grip companies, sound stages, numerous production and post facilities, and a large base of feature experienced, nonunion crew. Our region holds the largest crew base in New York State outside of New York City; larger than Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany combined!

How do I go about acquiring permits for filming in the Rochester/Finger lakes region?

Whether you need to shoot in Downtown Rochester or on a farm two counties away your first phone call for permits should be to us as we cover such a large and diverse part of the state. Every city, town, or village agency deals with film shoots in different ways and we will work in conjunction with you and the specific permit office to ensure your production has official cooperation.

What kind of locations does the region have?

This area is truly one of the undiscovered gems as a location – visually unique and distinctive, Rochester is in the midst of one of the most beautiful regions in the country. The Finger Lakes is probably most popular for the variety of Americana towns – New England style harbors and lighthouses, quaint villages with squares ringed by 19th century churches, and picturesque county roads. Our wine county has gently sloping vineyards amid 11 clear blue lakes – the second largest grape growing region in the country. You’ll find an abundance of dramatic waterfalls, canyons and gorges, and Amish/Mennonite farmland. For more urban shoots, we’ve got industrial neighborhoods, Art Deco downtowns, and universities in the Ivy League tradition. With a SMSA population of about 1 million, Rochester can and has been used to double virtually any larger city in the U.S. Add snowy Christmases and spectacular fall foliage for great town and country scenery year round.