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Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 12:28pm

Savannah Film 'Conspirator' Opens

Savannah has a starring role in a new Robert Redford movie opening Friday.

"The Conspirator" is one of two big films made in the city after a decade-long production drought.

The other film was Miley Cyrus' "The Last Song."

Redford's "The Conspirator" tells the story of Mary Surratt, convicted in Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Many locals already have seen the film but this weekend will be its national debut.

Redford's cast of local extras included Philip Aultman.

Aultman and several other extras formed a group that keeps in touch and raises money for charity.

"A dozen times I saw myself," Aultman says. "I was really surprised I got so much face time."

Savannah also gets a lot of "face" time, standing in for Civil War era Washington, D.C.

Producers chose Savannah for its large collection of antebellum buildings and Georgia's generous film tax credits.

Those credits survived this year's state budget fight.

"The tax credits in Georgia now are very favorable for movies," says Aultman. "And we have so many old buildings that weren't destroyed during the Civil War."

Fort Pulaski, the U.S. Customs House and the Owens-Thomas House are among the locations seen in the film.

But Savannah isn't mentioned until the credits.

Local officials say, the film will raise the city's profile in the eyes of movie-goers and Hollywood producers.