NEAR WEST SIDE — Cinespace will launch an incubator for filmmakers later this year, officials announced this week.
Located on the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios lot on the Near West Side, Stage 18 will provide services, space and events to help develop the local filmmaking community.
The nonprofit hub aims to create more local jobs in the film industry and keep local talent bred at Second City and Steppenwolf from leaving for opportunities in L.A. and New York City, said Angie Gaffney, Stage 18 executive director.
The shared workspace will help connect filmmakers and creatives with the business tools they need to produce their projects, officials said, and offer students a place to develop their ideas. DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago and Tribeca University have pledged their support to the project.
Cinespace is celebrating the incubator project at an event Tuesday evening, and officials plan to open Stage 18 this winter.
Home to major productions including TV series "Chicago Fire" and "Empire" and films “Transformers,” “Divergent,” and “Jupiter Ascending," Cinespace is the largest soundstage in the United States outside of Hollywood.
An estimated $358 million in spending was generated by the Illinois film industry in 2013, according to Cinespace executives.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: