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August 29, 2014

Weekly Update from Film Ontario, August 29, 2014

Happy Friday!

Labour Day weekend is here. Rest up, because TIFF starts next week!

Welcome to new Members: Visual Rhodes, and beanfield Metroconnect!

A reminder to RSVP to sarah@filmontario.ca for the FilmOntario Members only Mayoralty event on Sept 3rd. Security protocols require your name listed, to pass the Gate.

Have a lovely weekend!

Sarah Ker-Hornell
CEO & Executive Director

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Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

As most of you have likely already heard, improved California tax credits are now certain to be approved by a full Senate as Governor Jerry Brown this week publicly signed off on the expansion bill which has been working its way through the state government for the past eight months. Governor Brown's approval came after several days of negotiations which left the final bill looking a little different from what was originally proposed.

Here is what Ontario stakeholders should know:

  • California will more than triple its annual tax credits from $100 million to $330 million (for perspective on this number, note that production powerhouse New York awarded $420 million last year)
  • Credits are for 20 - 25% of production expenses and labour
  • The tax credits will come into play in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, which begins July 1st, 2015 (sooner than originally proposed) and are guaranteed for five years (a year longer than originally proposed)
  • The lottery system will be dismantled and credits will instead be allocated based on how many jobs a project creates - a system most feel will favor studio films and one-hour TV dramas

There are more details in the Los Angeles Times article below.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fi-film-tax-brown-20140828-story.html

News of California's expanded tax credits was met with jubilation by local industry advocates this week. In the Variety article below, vocal proponent Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed his view that they would bring tens of thousands of jobs back to the state.
http://variety.com/2014/artisans/news/los-angeles-mayor-tax-credit-bill-will-bring-tens-of-thousands-of-jobs-back-to-state-1201292467/

 In a separate story Variety took a look at the impact the credits are likely to have on other jurisdictions and discusses in more detail the job creation formula which will determine their allocation.
http://variety.com/2014/artisans/news/california-boost-will-tripling-tax-credits-work-1201293066/

The Wrap also took a look at California's decision, particularly in light of the fact that several other states - including high profile North Carolina - have recently abandoned their incentives programs.
http://www.thewrap.com/why-is-california-tripling-film-and-tv-tax-credits-while-other-states-slash-them/

 Any other week the decision by North Carolina legislators not to continue that state's program of film and television tax credits would have been the top story. As detailed in the L.A. Times below, North Carolina's decision to forgo tax credits in lieu of a grant program is likely to remove a major player from the production landscape.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-onlocation-north-carolina-20140827-story.html

It seems that New York's 2012 decision to expand its post production tax credits has paid off. As reported in Variety below, the Nickelodeon show Dora and Friends is just one of the high profile shows the change attracted to that state.
http://variety.com/2014/artisans/news/new-york-state-tax-credits-yield-dora-and-friends-other-post-production-gains-1201285231/

And finally this week, Variety reported on the huge demand that generous production tax credits have created in the U.K. As detailed below, the first half of 2014 saw U.K. spending on all films hit $1.3 billion, a boom that has created scarcity with regards to studio space and crew.
http://variety.com/2014/biz/global/can-u-k-keep-up-with-demand-due-to-amped-up-incentives-1201282243/

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