NRW's premier shooting destinations


"Everything but oceans and Alps" is how Claudia Droste-Deselaers of Filmstiftung NRW describes the variety and scope of shooting locations in NRW. From the prehistory of the Neanderthal valley to the postmodern cityscapes of Dusseldorf and Cologne; from Roman roads to coal mines, medieval castles to high-tech industry, NRW is a film scout's dream.

1. MMC Studios -- A must-see for any NRW shoot. Europe's largest and most modern studios, MMC boasts 4.8 million square feet of soundstages over 35 studios. In addition to the hundreds of hours of TV programming shot here, MMC is making a name for itself as a film partner, as a service provider and/or co-financier on projects German ("Die Buddenbrooks," "Seven Dwarves"), European ("Amelie," "Le roi danse") and international (Stephen Daldry's "The Reader," the Michelle Pfeiffer starrer "Cheri").

2. History -- With cities dating back to the time of the Roman Empire, NRW offers a cross section of two millennia in European architecture. Castles that would put "Lord of the Rings" to shame; cobbled medieval centers in cities like Aachen and Munster; and more churches than you can shake a "Pope Joan" at.

3. Cities -- The modern cityscapes drew hometown boy Wim Wenders back to Dusseldorf for his latest feature, "Palermo Shooting." But NRW's urban centers -- Cologne, Essen, Bochum, Dortmund and Bonn, to name just a few -- have acted as stand-ins for cities across Europe and America.

4. Forest -- Untarnished nature is a rare commodity in Western Europe, but the woods and river valleys of NRW provide breathtaking vistas. The pristine appeal even convinced perfectionist Lars von Trier to use NRW as his Garden of Eden in the upcoming drama "Antichrist."

5. Industry -- NRW made the jump from rust belt to high-tech decades ago, but reminders of its industrial-age past still stand. The brick-and-mortar towns of Duisburg or Wuppertal were living sets for Sonke Wortmann's '50s-era drama "The Miracle of Bern."
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