One of my favorite things to do when traveling--and it's not the easiest thing in the world, either--is to seek out locations where movies or TV series have been filmed.


I've plotted routes that would include visits to movie sites and I even planned an entire vacation around a visit to the Field of Dreams in Iowa where the house used in the timeless classic still stands and where tourists can actually play baseball on the diamond. And of course, the cornfield is always maintained.

On my way back from South Dakota in 2011, I checked out a covered bridge used in the Clint Eastwood/Meryl Streep drama The Bridges of Madison County. That was in Winterset, Iowa. But Iowa isn't the ONLY state where movies are filmed.


KENTUCKY is broadening its horizons as well, as more and more production companies and studios are recognizing that the Bluegrass State carries with it a great deal of authenticity. One director enamored with the Commonwealth is Ashley Avis, whose modern-day adaptation of Black Beauty has been a big hit on Disney+. She is also working on a project for Ron Howard.


But in 2022, she'll turn her attention toward a love story called KYLAND, which will be set AND filmed in Kentucky. In fact, she's already been scouting locations.

Filming will also take place in North Carolina. But when Avis mentions that she's been getting to know the residents of Harlan County, Kentucky, and immersing herself in that region of the world, it reminded me of a sensational made-for-television movie back in 1984 called The Dollmaker, in which Jane Fonda portrayed a Kentucky woodcarver who uproots her family when her husband takes a job in Detroit and then has to be the primary breadwinner with her woodwork after a family tragedy.


At the time, when that film was in production--although set in Kentucky, it was filmed in the Smoky Mountains--I remember interviews with Fonda who said she called upon her close friend Dolly Parton, with whom she'd worked in 9 to 5, and asked her to guide her through the small mountain towns of east Tennessee in order to get a real feel for how people in that area work and live.

I'm excited that a filmmaker will be providing opportunities for eastern Kentuckians in the coming year and I'm equally excited that there's another filming location I'll need to visit...that WON'T require a trip to Iowa.

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Kentucky hasn't gone ignored by Hollywood, with regards to the usage of filming locations. But there could always be more, right?

Kentucky's History with the Oscars

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