It’s a tale almost good enough for the big screen.
Tired of seeing other states pony up big cash to attract television shows, movies and jobs, California is looking to boost its own tax breaks for entertainment projects …
Award Season Fever is about to reach epidemic proportions thanks to this morning’s announcement of the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees. We are excited to reveal that the Best Feature nominees are: 12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska. (See the full list of nominees in all categories below.)
We’re especially thrilled this year that seven of the nominees are Film Independent Members: Neal Dodson (Producer, All Is Lost); Rose Troche (Producer, Concussion); Troche is also a Film Independent Fellow (Fast Track 2011); Michael H. Weber (Screenwriter, The Spectacular Now); Jill Soloway (Writer/Director, Afternoon Delight); Morgan Neville (Director, 20 Feet From Stardom); Julie Goldman (Producer, Gideon’s Army); and Aaron Douglas Johnston (Director, My Sister’s Quinceañera).
12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska
Shane Carruth, Upstream Color; J.C. Chandor; All Is Lost; Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave; Jeff Nichols, Mud; Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine; Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater Before Midnight; Nicole Holofcener Enough Said; Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now; John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best First Feature
Blue Caprice, Director/Producer: Alexandre Moors; Producers: Kim Jackson, Brian O’Carroll, Isen Robbins, Will Rowbotham, Ron Simons, Aimee Schoof, Stephen Tedeschi; Concussion, Director: Stacie Passon, Producer: Rose Troche; Fruitvale Station, Director: Ryan Coogler; Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker; Una Noche, Director/Producer: Lucy Mulloy, Producers: Sandy Pérez Aguila, Maite Artieda, Daniel Mulloy, Yunior Santiago; Wadjda, Director: Haifaa Al Mansour, Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
Best First Screenplay
Lake Bell, In A World; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon; Bob Nelson, Nebraska; Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight; Michael Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000)
Computer Chess, Writer/Director: Andrew Bujalski, Producers: Houston King & Alex Lipschultz; Crystal Fairy, Writer/Director: Sebastiàn Silva, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín & Pablo Larraín; Museum Hours, Writer/Director: Jem Cohen, Producers: Paolo Calamita & Gabriele Kranzelbinder; Pit Stop, Writer/Director: Yen Tan, Writer: David Lowery, Producers: Jonathan Duffy, James M. Johnston, Eric Steele, Kelly Williams; This is Martin Bonner, Writer/Director: Chad Hartigan, Producer: Cherie Saulter
Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Julie Delpy, Before Midnight; Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy; Brie Larson, Short Term 12; Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
Best Male Lead
Bruce Dern, Nebraska; Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave; Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis; Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station; Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club; Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Best Supporting Female
Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station; Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave; Yolonda Ross, Go For Sisters; June Squibb, Nebraska
Best Supporting Male
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave; Will Forte, Nebraska; James Gandolfini, Enough Said; Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club; Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave; Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers; Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis; Frank G. DeMarco, All Is Lost; Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color; Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours; Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha; Cindy Lee, Una Noche; Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
20 Feet From Stardom, Director/Producer: Morgan Neville, Producers: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers; After Tiller, Directors/Producers: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson; Gideon’s Army, Director/Producer: Dawn Porter, Producer: Julie Goldman; The Act of Killing, Director/Producer: Joshua Oppenheimer, Producers: Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Michael Uwemedimo, The Square, Director: Jehane Noujaim, Producer: Karim Amer
Best International Film
A Touch of Sin, (China), Director: Jia Zhang-Ke; Blue is the Warmest Color, (France), Director: Abdellatif Kechiche; Gloria, (Chile), Director: Sebastián Lelio; The Great Beauty, (Italy), Director: Paolo Sorrentino; The Hunt, (Denmark), Director: Thomas Vinterberg
17th Annual Piaget Producers Award
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston, Jacob Jaffke, Andrea Roa, Frederick Thornton
20th Annual Someone To Watch Award
My Sister’s Quinceañera, Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston; Newlyweeds, Director: Shaka King; The Foxy Merkins, Director: Madeline Olnek
19th Annual Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award
Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course; Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn; Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, Manakamana
Robert Altman Award
Mud, Director: Jeff Nichols, Casting Director: Francine Maisler, Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon
Attention writers! Do you have material, but need some guidance on how to successfully pitch your project? CAPE New Writers Fellowship is the perfect program for you.
Liberal filmmaker James Cameron is estimated to be worth $700 million.
Despite this fortune, it was announced Monday that he will be producing the next three installments of his successful “Avatar” movie in New Zealand.
It was also announced Monday that New Zealand is changing its tax incentive structure for films made in the country making Cameron eligible for 25 percent in rebates.
As the year comes to a close, it’s always nice to take a look back at the important state tax credit issues that arose during the past 12 months. The year started out with the ‘fiscal cliff’ and its associated drama. In the end, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which extended tax incentives for alternative energy producers. The credit for wind energy facilities was extended another year to Jan. 1, 2014.
The music video for Chase & Status’ dance track “Alive,” directed by Welsh filmmaker Josh Cole, has inspired a tremendous reaction from Indian country. Just read through the comments on the ICTMN facebook page and you’ll get the picture — some viewers have praised the clip for its tale of drug abuse on the rez and spiritual redemption, while others feel it’s exploitative and disrespectful of the ceremonies it depicts. The video, which shows dramatized drug use, crime and ceremony, was shot on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Cole has received considerable attention in Indian Country.Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/09/director-josh-cole-blackfeet-thought-story-needed-be-told-152631
The Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival is accepting filmmaker applications until Dec. 31, 2013.
If selected, filmmakers will get to create a film adaptation of an award-winning short story by a South Carolina writer and
compete for juried prizes on festival night, June 14, 2014.
Staff at KPBS public radio and television in San Diego voted to join 165,000 media and entertainment professionals in recognizing SAG-AFTRA as their union.
The new bargaining unit will cover 55 public media professionals who produce, report, host, and present content for television, radio, and the internet. This election allows them to move forward to negotiate a first contract.
New Hanover County could see an estimated loss of more than $10 million in tax revenue if the state’s film incentive expires at the end of 2014, according to initial findings of a study released Monday.
The study, commissioned in September by the Wilmington Regional Film Commission with the assistance of other state entities, is being conducted by researchers at N.C. State University and looks at the financial impact of the film industry in the state. The current film incentive, which has a “sunset” expiration date at the end of 2014, gives qualifying productions a 25 percent refundable tax credit on money spent on certain services in the state.
The DC Film Office interviews Melissa Houghton, executive director of Women in Film & Video of Washington, D.C. (WIFV) to talk about her organization and the media industry in D.C. She gives pertinent advice to those women and men who are working as media professionals in the District of Columbia.
December 2 – 3, 2013 – New York, NY
Get the latest information on obtaining finance & tax incentives to get independent and studio films made, distributed and marketed in today’s market place.
Conference Co-Chairs: Joe Chianese, Entertainment Partners; Vinca Jarrett, FilmPro Finance; Thomas Glen Leo, Sheppard Mullin; David Zitzerman, Goodmans LLP
All paid attendees will receive the Bloomberg BNA Portfolio:
Film and TV Production: Tax Accounting Considerations and Federal Law#599 2nd
By Michael H. Salama and Brandee A. Tilman
*One Portfolio per paid attendee. Quantities are limited.
There are no prerequisites for attending this program.
If you are unable to attend this event, you may: transfer your registration to another person from your company for the same event; or transfer your registration to a substitute event listed on our web site. In either instance, there will be no charge or penalty for substitution.
To request a transfer, contact email@example.com with the new attendee or substitute event information more than 5 business days prior to the conference start date. On the first day of the event, absent attendees will be considered “no shows” and will not be eligible for a refund, transfer, or substitute event. Cancellations must be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org more than 5 business days before the event and will be assessed a $350 conference setup fee. Cancellations will not be accepted if notice is received fewer than 5 business days before the event.
For more information regarding administrative policies, complaints and cancellations, please contact us at 800.372.1033, or e-mail email@example.com.
BEACHWOOD, Ohio – She is only 16 years old, but Beachwood High School junior Maria Alvarez is already making her mark on the international film world.
Beachwood High School junior Maria Alvarez’s short film, “Difference of Opinion,” was the winner in the Best High School Experimental Film category at the International Student Film Festival Hollywood on Oct. 27 in California.
“I was totally shocked because this is the first big festival that I’ve ever entered,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been going to festivals to see movies and it’s so weird to think of mine actually being screened at one.”
Chances are strong that the Illinois Assembly will pass Senate Bill 1816 which amends the 30% Illinois film tax credit to include above-the-line acting talent, an act that is sure to boost Illinois into a top tier of entertainment production.
IPA president Jeff Crabtree, who was in Springfield during the recent short Veto Session, reports that SB 1816 was discussed and approved by the House Revenue and Finance Committee and put into the pipeline for a vote.
California’s relatively young TV and motion picture tax-credit program helped produce “Moneyball,” the exploration of pro baseball’s business side. Credits went to “We Bought a Zoo,” the Matt Damon comedy about a family’s foray into zoo ownership.
But perhaps the highest-profile production claiming the tax break was “Argo,” the 2012 rescue drama centered on a government agent posing as a movie producer.
Now the film credit has a marquee role in an “Argo”-esque Capitol bribery scandal involving an FBI agent posing as a film studio owner. Last week, cable news channel Al Jazeera America released an FBI affidavit, filed under seal in U.S. District Court, that detailed a sting targeting state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello. Calderon allegedly received $60,000 in bribes from the agent in return for pushing legislation to make low-budget independent films eligible for the credit.
What makes a film festival the Coolest? Is it a combination of quality cinema, great parties, and free swag? Or is it an alluring mix of hip, alternative venues and shoestring-budget, hyper-indie films you might not get to see anywhere else? What about the opportunity to gawk at celebrities, connect with fellow moviemakers, and take advantage of free travel perks? These are just some of the many factors we pondered before we could even begin to quantify the coolest film festivals on the planet this year. On top of all that, the MovieMaker team couldn’t possibly attend all the festivals in the Los Angeles area, much less the world—the territory this list’s title so ambitiously encompasses. So we decided to solicit a little help from our friends.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo now has to decide whether he wants Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady and other upstate counties to be eligible for the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit.
The proposed expansion of the credit, which currently can’t be applied to 14 counties, was put on the governor’s desk today and he has until Nov. 13 to act. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam.
About $5 million is currently available in tax credits under the program.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — It appears that film and theatrical productions will qualify for approximately $6.5 million in state tax credits during 2013, according to the executive director of the R.I. Film & Television Office.
State legislators and others who support Louisiana’s generous film production tax breaks are looking to keep those tax breaks and other entertainment industry incentives intact during the next 18 months.
“Louisiana has the best motion picture incentives in the country and possibly the world,” said Scott Niemeyer, a movie producer whose company is based in New Orleans and Santa Monica. “It is the third largest production center outside of California and New York.”
I have been a fan of FiOS television in the past, but never more so now that Verizon has launched a service that makes television viewing for persons who are blind, or who have vision loss, that much more enjoyable.
Verizon’s decision to include video described first-run feature films to its FiOS Video On Demand library is a groundbreaking move that is to be applauded in the industry. Today, FiOS TV customers in all FiOS markets can now take advantage of this new functionality.
Huh! Blind people watching TV?
New York Film Critics Series Launches Tomorrow Nation-wide: with a Special Discount for MovieMaker Readers
The New York Film Critics Series is launching a brand new in-theater series featuring previews of major films screened simultaneously in cities across America. The series kicks off tomorrow, November 5, with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, with live appearances by Bruce Dern, June Squibb and Will Forte, and moderated by Peter Travers. See below for the press release – and for the promo code that gets MovieMaker readers in New York 30% off ticket prices!
NEW DELHI – India’s government-backed National Film Development Corporation announced details of its upcoming seventh edition of Film Bazaar, which will run Nov. 20-24 in Goa. Billed as a first of its kind event in South Asia, Film Bazaar will again feature various workshops and events including its Work-In-Progress Lab program, the Co-Production Market, the Screenwriters Lab and Indo-European producers’ forum Primexchange.
Hey Filmmakers! Welcome to Going Bionic #182. I hope you had a wonderful week. Mine was fantastically hectic, because I not only flew from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to see my cousin get married at a Cliffside resort tucked inside the Pocono Mountains, but I finished writing an original spec comedy screenplay and started it on its (hopefully short) journey toward a possible sale. Just to make sure every second of my week was filled with things to do, I was also asked to come up with three national billboard campaign slogans in addition to handling my regular international distribution duties made for one hell of a busy 168 hours since last Tuesday’s Going Bionic was published.
An entertainment fund has purchased a Valley Village office building that will become the group’s headquarters.
The Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, an independent non-profit that collects and distributing royalties for SAG-AFTRA and the American Federation of Musicians, acquired the Laurel Park Office Plaza for $9.68 million.
The sale of the 38,000 square-foot building at 4705 Laurel Canyon Blvd. closed Thursday.
The talks will begin on Nov. 4, well in advance of contract expiration and prior to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA negotiations.
Contract negotiations between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are set to officially begin on Nov. 4, the organizations said Wednesday. The discussions for a new three-year contract will be hosted at the AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks headquarters and conducted under a press blackout.
INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia State University is holding a workshop for filmmakers on the planning and business aspects of production.
The “Production 101″ workshop is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s open to beginners as well as veteran filmmakers.
The workshop will be presented by producer Lisa Bragg and West Virginia State communications and media studies professor Danny Boyd. Boyd also is a filmmaker and graphic novelist.
SACRAMENTO — Federal investigators probing the activities of state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) have asked other lawmakers about proposals he made to expand tax credits for the film industry, officials said Wednesday.
Calderon pushed to extend tax breaks to productions of less than $1 million. He and family members received a total of $10,800 in campaign contributions from an independent producer who could have benefited from the change Calderon advocated.
FBI agents raided Calderon’s Capitol office in June and seized documents as part of an investigation into his finances. On Wednesday, the Hollywood connection arose.
Lawmakers said that while Calderon was pushing for the tax credits, he was frequently seen at political and social events accompanied by a young businessman he introduced as Rocky Patel.
While the United States remains the key spot for filming television series, foreign countries are aggressively competing more and more for U.S.-based productions. At the same time, foreign producers are increasingly taking advantage of the various film incentives offered in the United States.
Despite the controversy surrounding the sometimes generous tax incentives aimed at attracting film productions to various locales, two prominent experts agree that film and television incentives have become a permanent and essential element for the industry around the world.
In this interview, Joseph D. Chianese and Marco Cordova, of EP Financial Solutions, discuss the various film and television tax incentives offered both in the United States and abroad.
Film and television producers will soon have an even greater incentive to shoot in Oregon. Starting Monday, the Oregon Department of Revenue will auction off tax credits to replenish a subsidy fund to lure major Hollywood productions to the state.
While some states are re-examining and even reeling back some film production incentives, Oregon lawmakers this year expanded theirs. The state says the program has lured film and television shows to the state, including the NBC police drama Grimm, which starts its third season this week. Critics say the incentives mostly go to deep-pocketed production companies and that competition between states to land movies and shows is a race to the bottom.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new state report says employment in Virginia’s film industry has risen 15.7 percent since 2011.
The report also says the total economic impact of 11 recent film and television projects topped $139 million. The projects included Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and the television pilot “Company Town” for CBS.
The report released Thursday says these projects spent $66.4 million in the state and received $11.8 million in incentives.
The report also says that $11.80 was returned to Virginia’s economy for every incentive dollar that was provided.
More than $1 million awarded to support arts and culture activities in 26 counties
DENVER – September 23, 2013 - Colorado Creative Industries today announced recipients for the 2013 – 2014 Colorado Creates grant program. A total of 150 grants were awarded in 26 counties across the state totaling $1,125,000. The agency’s grants benefit both small and large communities, and over 50% of grant funds are awarded in towns and cities located outside the Denver metro area.
Colorado Creates is Colorado Creative Industries’ largest grant program, providing critical financial support that helps nonprofit cultural organizations and government agencies produce and present arts and cultural activities, bringing jobs to their communities and enhancing their quality of life.
Grants are awarded annually on a competitive basis and provide a seal of excellence that helps organizations leverage local and national funds.
“These grants support the artists and creative entrepreneurs who are critical to Colorado’s economy,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries. “There are over 186,000 jobs in our state’s creative sector, making it the fifth largest employment cluster. By investing in this sector’s vitality, the state builds its reputation as a premier creative hub and reaps significant economic returns.”
The grant awards are for activities that take place between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. A complete list of this year’s grant recipients by county is available online at www.coloradocreativeindustries.org.
Top 13 Sites For Independent Filmmakers.
In recent years, the content of the internet has transformed itself from a controlled and manufactured environment to a vast expanse of user generated content. Internet users can log on and create their own subjects, themes, and arguments to the sites they frequent. This idea gave birth to sites like Facebook, and Twitter; as well as creating tools like wikis, forums, and blogs. This new type of social media forged specific online communities where people with similar interests could share and collaborate freely on ideas.
Independent filmmakers have an ever-growing presence on social media sites such as twitter, facebook, youtube, and various blogs. This presence has resulted in a wealth of shared knowledge for filmmakers worldwide. These sites have become a hub for the independent filmmaking community, and are a vital resource many young writers, directors, and producers alike.
Here’s a list of thirteen sites that are excellent resources for independent filmmakers in no particular order.
Filmmakers on a tight budget know perfectly well how difficult it is to stay on that budget. Filmmaker.com’s blog contains helpful articles regarding a wide array of topics from industry news, to new software updates, and to helpful tips. Members of the site can post on the forums and exchange information on filmmaking as well as their own projects. The forum is an ideal place for independent filmmakers to seek knowledge from their peers.
Film Riot is a video tutorial site with a comedic twist. Host Ryan Connolly covers every subject from how to make a music video, to using CGI, to how to cast your film. This site is a delightful departure from the typical monotonous tutorials usually found on the net as the humorous videos take a narrative structure making them actually enjoyable to watch.
Good screenwriters know how important it is to know every trick of the trade there is (even if they do not use them all). Go Into The Story ditches all the fancy graphics and cluttering advertisements and opts for the bare essentials of screenwriting. Blogger Scott Myers, a screenwriting professor at the University of North Carolina, posts advice and how-to-guides daily to aid young writers in the creative process. The blog also sports an extensive list of other great websites and blogs that serve as great resource as well.
Hope for Film is the brainchild of the American independent film producer Ted Hope. His credits include 21 Grams (2003), American Splendor (2003), and Adventureland (2009) to name a few. Everyday Hope and various guest bloggers post advice and opinions concerning independent film. Like johnaugust.com this blog is a great opportunity for beginner filmmakers to seek and discuss insight of an industry professional.
Similar to Filmmaker.com, IndieTalk is filmmaking community in which filmmakers share and exchange ideas in a forum. The forums are broken down into categories such as Cameras & Lenses, Screenwriting, Cinematography and Lighting, and Post Production. The members on the forum typically offer advice on how to get around problems in filmmaking while not doing damage to your wallet.
Similar to Twitch Film, IndieWire is convergence point filmmakers and film lovers alike. Fans of independent cinema receive information of films and festivals, as well as reviews and blogs. Filmmakers can read articles covering topics such as production, distribution, exhibition, and festival strategy.
John August is an accomplished screenwriter whose credits most notably include Tim Burton’s films Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Corpse Bride (2005). He started his blog back in 2003 as an encyclopedia of information about screenwriting. Since then it has expanded into a wealth of information ranging from career advice to the state of the film industry itself. Many of the blog posts are responses to reader-submitted questions, making it a great way for independent writers to get feedback from a working professional.
Besides being one of Britain’s largest independent film festivals, Raindance also offers a treasure trove of information and how-to-tips for independent filmmakers worldwide. Under the resources section of the site there are links to articles written by members of the Raindance team and industry professionals. These articles detail the tricks and traps for filmmaking on little to no budget at all. Raindance also runs a film school with am innovative postgraduate film degree in association with Staffordshire University and the Independent Film Trust. They also have 7 regional offices in six countries which gives them an unusual and valuable perspective on new trends in independent film.
Shooting People is a network for filmmakers based out of London. It serves as a means for independent filmmakers to connect with each other by using blogs, databases, newsletters, and podcasts. Members of the site have premiered at Sundance, been nominated at BAFTA and the Oscars, and screened at Cannes.
The world of independent cinema is so widespread around the globe it can sometimes be difficult to absorb it all it. Twitch Film compiles everything there is to know and creates a central hub for the lovers of indie, international, and cult films. Followers of the site can read news, reviews, and interviews regarding a huge library of international and independent films; as well participate in forums and comment on articles.
Philip Bloom has travelled the world as a successful maker of short films, documentaries. adverts and much more. He is part of the new breed of digital cinematographers, using DLSRs to achieve that film look. On his website you can see his wide range of work, from his adverts with Kevin Spacey to his 5D Cinematography on the WWII Lucasfilm Red Tails.
No Film School is a site for DIY filmmakers and independent creatives run by Brooklyn based filmmaker Ryan Koo. It offers solutions to how to get the most out of the things you create in order to sustain a long career as a filmmaker, writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographers and much more.
Film Maker IQ is a group of filmmakers who discuss a range of topics. With articles on things such as Make-Up Tutorials to Camera comparisons, they answer both the whys and hows of filmmaking and help us understand the new media wave, without forgetting the old.
The hit AMC show Breaking Bad has been nothing but good for Albuquerque, NM. A recent LA Times article reveals the show has pumped upwards of $70 million into the city over five years.
That project, however, seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Many film and production studios are in Arizona, but they’re only passing through, heading to other states that offer TV and filmmakers better tax incentives.
“What we don’t have. What 40 other states do have is an incentive program,” says Hal Gibson, president of the Arizona Film and Media Coalition.
Gibson says Arizona has it all as a shooting destination, uninterrupted sunny weather, a vibrant metropolis and some of nature’s most majestic and picturesque scenes.
The lack of tax incentives, according to Gibson, is the chief reason Disney Studios shot most of The Lone Ranger in New Mexico as opposed to Arizona.
A decade ago, the only thing Jon Gann really knew about film festivals was that he didn’t much care for them. After a year of traveling to dozens with his 9-minute film “Cyberslut,” the man who would go on to found the DC Shorts Film Festival felt defeated by the massive, impersonal cinematic showcases that valued sponsors over filmmakers.
His feelings were crystallized one afternoon when he touched down in France and rushed to a screening of his short, hoping to arrive in time to introduce his movie and greet the audience.
ANCHORAGE – The Alaskan cast and crew of “The Frozen Ground”—a thriller about infamous Alaskan serial killer Robert Hanson—enjoyed a screening of their work Friday afternoon at Bear Tooth theatrepub. It’s one of several recent Hollywood movies about, and made in, Alaska. People in the state’s fledgling film industry said that the state’s film tax credits helped bring movies like “The Frozen Ground” to Alaska, but for more big films to get made here, the film industry has to grow up.
”If the tax incentive wasn’t here, there’s no way we would have come and filmed the film here,” said the film’s writer/director Scott Walker. Michigan would have been Alaska’s stunt double otherwise; similar tax credits were in place there but were essentially cut in 2011. Thus the stars aligned—both in terms of story and finances—to bring the movie to Alaska.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a press release this week praising the Texas Film Commission for expanding its economic incentives to include “digital interactive media productions.” Under the new changes the state raised the funding level up from 15 to 20 percent, and lowered the top tier threshold to $3.5 million from $5 million and eliminated the wage-only option. Visual effects projects completed in Texas can now qualify as their own project under the new incentive guidelines. “We applaud Commissioner Page and the Texas Film Commission for their leadership and vision in expanding these important incentives,” said ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher. “This forward-thinking paves the way for exciting new innovations in the entertainment industry. These incentives are not only good for the video game industry, they are a win for Texas as well. These will help keep Texas competitive in the digital media marketplace, attracting and providing 21st century jobs in our growing industry and boosting the state’s economy.” Learn more about the state’s tax incentives here.
288 films are programmed for this year’s Toronto Film Festival, and commuters heading to the cinema will be treated with 85 more by the end of the fest. All they have to do is look up.
The Toronto Urban Film Festival returns for its seventh year of subterranean shorts programming, with a diverse slate that all come in under one minute. Each day’s programming will play every 10 minutes across 300 screens, planted in the city’s subway platforms.
Factoring in the number of people who utilize Toronto mass transit, the film festival will reach over 1 million people during its run. Arriving from 20 countries across the globe and ranging in medium — from narrative to documentary to animation — the festival’s selections add a dash of the avant-garde over TIFF’s 10 day run.
Although they’re micro-sized, TUFF recognizes individual artists each year. Canadian cult filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Pontypool) joins the fest to select the top three films of the year, as well as the winner of the City of Toronto’s Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmakers. The awards will be presented at a special awards ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 15.
For those not in Toronto, this year’s selection is available for viewing on the TUFF website, where audiences can also vote to name the 2013 Viewer’s Choice winner.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year hailed New York’s $420 million film tax credit program as a success, saying it has paid off by luring film and TV productions to the state.
Now a coalition of Broadway investors, companies that operate touring shows, and theaters such as Proctors Theatre are calling for the same — albeit more modest — tax boost for live theater.
The Golden State is steadily losing ground in the sector that is the single-largest driver of long-term production employment in the biz — high-end drama shows that have the potential to run for years. This decline has occurred at a time when the overall number of hour-long series in production has exploded, thanks to the growing appetite for original programming on cable, and now even digital platforms.
HOLLYWOOD star Kevin Spacey has urged governments to give film companies tax breaks in a bid to create new jobs and improve Scotland’s screen industry.
The Academy Award winning actor said that more could be done to attract productions and ensure that home-grown films in Scotland and south of the Border did not have to be shot abroad.
Mr Spacey spoke to The Scotsman about help for the industry during a question and answer session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival on Friday, the morning after his delivery of the annual James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the McEwen Hall.
Submissions for the 2013 Lone Star Film Festival opened January 2, 2013. Filmmakers can take advantage of reduced submissions fees the sooner submissions are made. The festival will take place November 6-10, 2013.
Along with current shifts in the film industry, new models of distribution and exhibition are emerging. This evolution is paving the way for pioneering companies, individuals, and information that will form the future landscape of media.
Knowledge and appreciation of this new frontier can best be gained in live forums where information, ideas, and strategies can be shared in real time as they evolve – such as film festivals positioned at the intersection of new paradigms and established traditions.
In 2012 the Lone Star Film Festival in Sundance Square implemented just such a focus through film competition and strategies that inform and support projects, filmmakers, film professionals and audiences in the rapidly transforming world of independent film distribution.
Submission dates for the 2013 Lone Star Film Festival are as follows:
February 28, 2013 – Earlybird Deadline
June 14, 2013 – Regular Deadline
August 16, 2013 – Late Deadline
August 30, 2013 – WAB Extended Deadline
Click on the Withoutabox link below to view details of our submission process. Please read the descriptions carefully as our Rules and Regulations for our competition have changed.
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RALEIGH, NC (AP/WECT) – The nation’s major film and television series producers are warning that North Carolina could lose thousands of jobs and millions in economic investment if it doesn’t extend a state incentive program set to expire at the end of 2014.
The Motion Picture Association of America’s senior vice president for government affairs wrote to state officials four days before the Legislature adjourned.
Vans Stevenson wrote that the unwillingness of lawmakers to extend the program is already having an effect on the state and meant North Carolina would no longer be considered for major future feature films.
State officials are claiming “business is booming” because Albany expanded a tax credit for the film industry last year. But before you break out the champagne, consider what they mean by “booming”: 173 post-production jobs in a year’s time.
That’s right: one hundred seventy three jobs — in a state with 19.6 million residents.
“Last July, the state sent a clear message that we wanted to attract the good-paying jobs,” says Ken Adams, who runs Empire State Development. “A year later, from Buffalo to New York City, post-production business is booming.”
Massachusetts has not seen a wage increase in four years and many say an increase is long overdue. The cost of living in Massachusetts has increased and some people are finding it hard to make ends meet. Others (including small business owners) are worried that an increase of this type could potentially shut some businesses down as their payroll costs would rise substantially.
Discussions on the topic will continue.
In the final days of this year’s legislative session, the nation’s major film and TV series producers made a last-ditch effort to extend by at least three years a state incentive program that has provided them millions in cash payments and is set to expire at the end of 2014.
They warned in a letter that inaction would cause North Carolina to lose “tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investment.”
The Motion Picture Association of America’s senior vice president for government affairs, Vans Stevenson, wrote the letter four days before the legislature adjourned and said the General Assembly’s unwillingness to extend the incentive program “is already having a negative effect on the state” and meant North Carolina “will no longer be considered for major future feature films.”