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New York's film industry is smaller than that of Hollywood, but its billions of dollars in revenue makes it an important part of the city's economy and places it as the second largest center for the film industry in the United States.

New York was an epicenter of filmmaking in the earliest days of the American film industry, but the better year-round weather of Hollywood eventually saw California becoming the home of American cinema. The Kaufman-Astoria film studio in Queens, built during the silent film era, was used by the Marx Brothers and W. C. Fields. As cinema moved west, much of the motion picture infrastructure in New York was used for the burgeoning television industry.

New York City has recently seen a renaissance in filmmaking; 276 independent and studio films were in production in the city in 2006, an increase from 202 in 2004 and 180 in 2003. More than a third of professional actors in the United States are based in New York.

One of the filmmakers most associated with New York is Woody Allen, whose films include Annie Hall and Manhattan. Other New Yorkers in film include the actor Robert De Niro, who started the Tribeca Film Festival with directors Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Joel and Ethan Coen, and many others.

While major studio productions are based in Hollywood, New York has become a capital of independent film. The city is home to a number of important film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, as well as major independent film companies like Miramax Films. New York is also home to the Anthology Film Archives, the earliest surviving collective of avant-garde filmmakers, which preserves and exhibits hundreds of underground works from the entire span of film history.

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