Despite the recent city blackout and the legacy on 9/11 the number of feature film shooting days has leapt by over a third since the start of the year, according to the Mayor's Office of Film Theatre and Broadcasting.

Although the city has yet to compile its full shooting figues for last year, the city's film commissioner Katherine Oliver said the Big Apple was managing to contain the threat of 'runaway production' that has hit west coast cities such as LA.

Last year 180 films shot in New York up slightly from the 174 that filmed there in 2001. Meanwhile shoots in British Columbia dropped slightly from 40 to 37during the same period and Toronto saw the number of features filming there also drop by 47 to 42.

Despite New York's well-documented setbacks, Ms Oliver said the number of shooting days had risen by 31% in the first half of this year.

"September 11 did not significantly preclude productions from working at the time, it did affect the economy which is now starting to turn the corner," she said.

Even during the recent blackout productions such Miramax's remake of The Stepford Wives and the Deep River Production, Irish Dreamtime,Stratus Films, Intermedia Film: $30m romantic comedy Laws of Attraction managed to carry on filming.

Production manager Christopher Goode who has just wrapped the $20m Fine Line feature Birth starring Nicloe Kidman, said other cities such as Trononto werwe cheaper for tax credits and labour, "but only New York shoots as New York."