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November 15, 2013

Weekly Update from Film Ontario, November 15, 2013

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE November 15, 2013
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

The L.A.-based trades were dominated this week by reports of American Film Market activities. Several dozen Ontario producers were in town for it and I was pleased to be able to connect with many of them. I also attended the AFM Finance Conference last Friday where panelists delivered encouraging news about the increased availability for capital for independent filmmakers. Ontario got some excellent press during that conference when panelist Marsha Metz, Constantin Film's EVP Business and Legal Affairs, spoke in detail about the the run of successful Canadian-European co-productions her company has produced in Toronto.

If you want to get a sense of the energy at AFM I encourage you to read the piece below from Cher Hawrysh of Ontario-based Phenomenal Films. Cher wrote for Playback about some of her experiences this week. http://playbackonline.ca/2013/11/12/blog-afm-and-the-art-of-the-pitch/

There was bad news for California industry stakeholders this week as the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance called for a delay in expanding the state's film and television tax credits program. As reported in Variety below, the call is for no expansion or extension of the program until the completion of a study - due January 1, 2016 - of the incentives and their impact. The Senator also said that the FBI investigation of Senator Ron Calderon, in which agents posed as movie producers seeking an expansion of the program, “underscores an inherent problem in all of these tax credits that spend millions of dollars with little or no transparency or accountability.” http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/california-state-senator-calls-for-delay-in-expanding-film-and-tv-tax-credit-1200824459/

A front page story from the Los Angeles Times this week illustrated just why California's industry is so desperate to expand its tax credits for film and television production: as reported below, Britain's production scene is bustling, as a decade's worth of government policy promoting the industry has contributed to what is now described as a special relationship between Britain and Hollywood studios. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-england-films-20131110,0,2250099.story#axzz2kN1tRD7y

The Times also had a fascinating feature this week on how Hollywood is making adjustments to accommodate China, where the market for film is exploding. As reported below, It is widely speculated that China, already the world's second-largest movie market, will overtake North America to become the largest market by 2018 and will be double the U.S. market by 2023. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-ca-china-essay-20131110,0,7069762.story#axzz2kN1tRD7y

Unless you live under a rock, you've almost certainly been involved in a conversation about Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead in the last six months. According to the Los Angeles Times this is because the "cool" factor of television has now overtaken that of movies and rightfully so: as reported below, networks' television business has always been more important to their bottom lines than film. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-rise-of-television-20131110,0,6021352.story#axzz2kN1tRD7y

And finally this week, I encourage you to click on the link below to watch a very positive CTV news clip on the re-emergence of Ontario as North America's third busiest film and television production hub. http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?binId=1.811512#1.1540257

Before I sign off this week, I wanted to encourage Ontario stakeholders to attend the 3rd Annual Visual Effects and Animation Industry Party at the Maison Mercer nightclub in Toronto next Friday, November 22nd. You can read more details on Eventbrite - http://vaip.eventbrite.com - or the event's Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/events/527343387355357/

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