MovieMaker magazine has announced the 25 Best U.S. Cities To Ride It Out As An Independent Moviemaker this year. Chicago was named No. 1 (beating out last year’s winner, Austin). Why the Windy City? “Thanks to the very generous 30% tax credit it offers moviemakers and the mix of mega-budget Hollywood fare like The Dark Knight and Michael Mann’s upcoming Public Enemies and more modest independent features. “In the nine years we’ve been compiling the list, Chicago has always been the ‘movie city that could,'” says MovieMaker magazine editor Jennifer Wood. “Ironically, it is Rod Blagojevich who Chicagoans have to thank for the top spot on this year’s rankings, as it was the former governor who signed the state’s very generous tax credit into law in 2008.” Factors such as employment opportunities, cost of living, quality of life, job growth, median home prices and crime rates were judged as well as production days, size of talent pool, local film schools, green efforts, and — of course —financial incentives for moviemakers. Some surprises not yet on the radar of many moviemakers included Des Moines and Boise. The full list is here.