HOUSTON (March 21, 2014) -- In 2013, The Houston Film Commission recorded its best year since 2007, with a significant increase in projects and overall shooting days. And with even more projects anticipated for 2014, Houston continues to solidify itself as an attractive destination for film producers.

The film commission secured 203 film and video projects for the area totaling 862 shooting days. These projects represent a 23% increase over 2012. Major Houston film projects in 2013 included the feature films Hellion, Houston and Sacrifice as well as multiple cable series including Marshal Law: Texas, The Preacher's Mistress and Life Flight.

Since production wrapped in Houston, both Hellion and Houston have made waves at the Sundance Film Festival. Hellion, starring Juliette Lewis and Aaron Paul, has been chosen for Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is slated for release later this year. As for Houston, the film made the worldwide festival circuit, including Sundance Film Festival, and is scheduled for wide release in early 2014. Though a release date has not yet been set for Sacrifice, the feature film stars Dermot Mulroney and was produced by Forest Whitaker.

Not only do these projects spotlight Houston as a destination, but they help boost the city's local economy. Direct expenditures from the film and commercial industry totaled $18.2 million with an economic impact of nearly $55 million, a 58% increase over 2012.

"A healthy film industry creates and sustains jobs, expands the tax base, and enhances the image and visibility of Houston," says Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Moving forward, the Houston Film Commission plans to facilitate at least 225 film and video projects accounting for 875 shooting days in 2014.

Most recently Houston secured the Astronaut Wives Club, an ABC series focusing on the wives of NASA astronauts in the 1960s. The source material for the series is a best-selling book written by Lily Koppel, chronicling the real lives of the "first ladies of space". Production is slated to begin next month.

"Following a banner year in 2013 and securing the series Astronaut Wives Club so early in 2014, we anticipate the upcoming year to be one of our best," says Rick Ferguson, executive director of Houston Film Commission.