NABET 700-M UNIFOR represents over 3000 Film, Television and New Media Technicians in the province of Ontario.

100 Lombard Street
Suite 303
Toronto, ON
M5C 1M3
Tel: 416-536-4827
Toll-free: 1-888-428-0362
Fax: 416-536-0859


April 17, 2015

Weekly Update from Film Ontario, April 17, 2015

Hooray for milder weather!

Am catching a vacation day, so will send along the LA notes on Monday.

City of Toronto
FilmOntario was invited to make a presentation to the City of Toronto's Economic Development Committee this morning. In 2004, as a result of FilmOntario's efforts, Council declared screen-based industry a priority industry, ensuring that our industry competitiveness be top of mind when implementing any decisions; since then we deliver an annual industry update, to deliver context to the City staff's presentations and reports. You can see our presentation here.

Ontario Spring Budget
Finance Minister Sousa announced that the Spring Budget Day will be April 23rd. Even before his speech was over, I had received an email invitation to once again attend budget lock-up. As always, I will be sending Members a link to the budget, along with a comprehensive update on potential and direct impacts on our industry - so watch for an email Thursday April 23rd after 4pm.

Ontario Tax Credit review, and OFTTC challenges
As noted in previous newsletters to you, FilmOntario continues to work actively and diligently on behalf of Ontario's screen-based content industry to protect stability and competitiveness. Our meetings continue with Culture, Finance and the Premier's office, with a positive tone.

If you have any questions about the tax credit files, particularly your choices regarding OFTTC options - and producers definitely DO have options - feel free to contact me at 416-993-6066.

Happily, the town is very busy!

Take care,

Sarah Ker-Hornell
CEO & Executive Director


Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Industry news out of Canada made headlines across North America this week and once again dominates this report.

The Los Angeles Times took note this week of the Toronto International Film Festival's announcement that it will add television to its programming. As detailed below, Hollywood -- and other festivals -- will be keeping a close eye.

The long-awaited provincial budget was introduced in Nova Scotia last Thursday and it wasn't good news for film and television stakeholders. As reported in the CBC below, industry advocates are attempting to work with the government to amend its decision to slash the film tax credit from 100 per cent refundable to 25 per cent refundable.

The CRTC's recent decision to unbundle cable packages continues to make headlines. Canada's Financial Post had a lengthy feature this week on whether it may help or hinder Canadian content creators in their quest to produce the next water cooler hit.

Back in Los Angeles, film and television advocacy group FilmLA released its first quarter results this week and the numbers appear to bolster the argument in favor of California's much touted new incentives, which come into play this summer. As detailed below, feature film production in LA County plummeted 15% in the first quarter of this year, a drop which follows a 28% decline in feature film activity in the fourth quarter of last year and "reflects the dwindling availability of state incentives intended to keep movies in Southern California".

As LA-based industry waits to see what affect the new incentives will have on the industry this summer, Variety reported this week that the final regulations governing them have been approved. As reported below, the old lottery system is being replaced by a “jobs ratio,” a competitive ranking system in which money would go to projects that promise a proportional return in employment.

This week in Louisiana two film industry executives and a New Orleans lawyer went on trial accused of taking part in a scheme to bilk the state out of more than $1.1 million in film tax credits. As reported below in the New Orleans Times Picayune, in a sense the credits are on trial as well as the case opens on the same day that the Louisiana Legislature's annual session begins in a state dealing with a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall for the next fiscal year:

Finally this week, the international dominance of Netflix appear imminent. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, the company's shares touched an all-time high on Thursday as Wall Street celebrated the company’s announcement that 2.6 million non-U.S. users signed up for Netflix last quarter, an increase of about 7% from a year earlier and ahead of the forecast of 2.25 million.

more News