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January 31, 2014

Weekly Update from Film Ontario, January 31, 2014

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE January 31, 2014
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

The film and television industry in Los Angeles was rocked this week by the death of film czar Tom Sherak. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, Sherak, the former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, died just four months after being appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to lead his efforts to support California's film industry.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-sherak-film-czar-20140128,0,3338807.story#axzz2ruqTcmJh

The film and television industry in Los Angeles was rocked this week by the death of film czar Tom Sherak. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, Sherak, the former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, died just four months after being appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to lead his efforts to support California's film industry.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-sherak-film-czar-20140128,0,3338807.story#axzz2ruqTcmJh

The USA Today article above got enough attention that it precipitated a reaction from the Motion Picture Association of America. As detailed below, the MPAA rebutted "Numerous studies over the past two years have shown that incentive programs for film and television production have resulted in a significant return on investment for a number of states".
http://blog.mpaa.org/BlogOS/post/2014/01/28/The-Real-Impact-of-State-Motion-Picture-and-Television-Production-Tax-Credits.aspx

Florida film and television stakeholders are on tenterhooks as they await renewal of that state's incentive program which is currently winding down. As reported in the Miami Herald below,  Florida’s film industry is lobbying for a new $1 billion subsidy fund that would expire in 2020.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/28/3898732/with-florida-film-incentives-drying.html

It has been less than a year since the U.K. introduced an incentive for high end television and it has apparently been a smashing success. A Hollywood Reporter story this week detailed production statistics that show the tax breaks delivered more than $386 million (£233 million) to the British economy in their first nine months in operation.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/uk-tv-tax-credit-injects-675598

Love them or hate them, this next article is proof that tax credits are entrenched enough to facilitate their own ancillary business. The L.A. Times below reports that Moss Adams, one of the U.S.'s largest accounting firms, has launched an online exchange for trading film and other tax credits. It notes that Georgia, Louisiana and a dozen other states allow tax credits to be sold to third parties, enabling filmmakers to cash in credits they may not otherwise be able to use, while giving buyers savings on their own tax bills.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-moss-adams-20140130,0,5123304.story#axzz2ruqTcmJh

And finally this week, Forbes reported on a push by Texas to surpass California which leads the nation in video game employment. As detailed below, Texas ranks second with roughly 5,000 residents working in the industry and state legislators have allocated $85 million to the program for next year. The article goes on to say "today’s video game industry is not unlike the early days of film where a gold rush mentality is unfolding".
http://www.forbes.com/sites/joeharpaz/2014/01/28/will-tax-incentives-make-austin-the-video-game-capital-of-the-world/

Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with me with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office 

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