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September 14, 2015

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative: September 11, 2015

Happy Friday everyone,

I know it's a crazy week for industry stakeholder up in Ontario as once again TIFF brings to world to our door. This year there is also much to celebrate on the production side of things, thanks to the low Canadian dollar. An extensive article in published by Bloomberg News this week looks at how the film and television business has exploded in Toronto.     
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-09/canada-film-production-booms-as-loonie-fuels-extra-fight-scenes

Production in California is also on the upswing, bolstered by an expanded tax credit that was implemented this year as a means to return so-called runaway production to the state. According to Variety below, producers are indicating that the new scheme is a success.
http://variety.com/2015/artisans/production/california-bid-to-bring-production-back-to-state-wins-1201588106/

It appears that North Carolina, which up until this year was a busy production center, is about to be back in the film and television game. As detailed in the Winston-Salem Journal below, while the state let its tax credit program expire at the end of 2014, a new budget looks likely to provide $30 million in incentives for 2015-16 and 2016-17.
http://www.journalnow.com/business/business_news/local/nc-budget-appears-likely-to-include-film-tax-credits/article_d201bd00-2bb2-5309-b7a9-5d8063f82423.html

There have a been a myriad of stories in this space over the past few years about Hollywood's attempts to make inroads into the massive and rapidly expanding Chinese film industry. The Los Angeles Times this week published a sobering look at the some of the missteps and difficulties resulting from attempting to build relationships with Chinese partners who "often approach the relationship with a very different agenda."
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-china-broken-deals-20150906-story.html#navtype=outfit

The Times also noted this week the continued expansion of Netflix into Asian territories. As detailed below, the company is set to next enter Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea in its quest to complete its 200-country global strategy by the end of next year.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-netflix-2016-expansion-taiwan-hong-kong-singapore-south-korea-20150908-story.html

It's official: 2015 is now the second-strongest summer ever at the domestic box office. As detailed in the Times below, summer movies, which kicked off May 1 and wrapped up on Labor Day, ended up grossing $4.48 billion in the US and Canada this year, up 10.3% from the lackluster $4.06 billion brought in last summer. 
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-box-office-wrap-up-end-of-summer-final-numbers-20150908-story.html

Finally this week, considering the trades are full of them, I couldn't sign off without including a story about the Toronto International Film Festival. I was particularly struck by this one from Variety which details how US distributors snubbed the festival's 1976 launch.


You'll find the full text for the linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

Kelly

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