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April 8, 2016

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative: April 8, 2016

Happy Friday everyone,

It's been a few weeks since I've sent this report, so most of you already know that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed the controversial religious freedom bill that prompted companies like Disney/ Marvel, AMC and Time Warner to threaten a boycott of production in that state. In case you missed it, the Atlanta Journal Constitution details Governor Deal's decision below.
http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/03/28/breaking-nathan-deal-will-veto-georgias-religious-liberty-bill/

Georgia's production industry may have dodged a bullet with regards to the religious freedom bill, but a recent much-read-and-syndicated Wall Street Journal article suggests that its production incentives are in the sites of Americans for Prosperity, the free-market political-advocacy group backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. As detailed below, the group is putting millions behind efforts to end industry tax credits across the US.
http://www.wsj.com/article_email/group-backed-by-koch-brothers-takes-aim-at-tax-credits-for-films-1458934367-lMyQjAxMTE2NDI5NjEyMzYxWj

The news continues to be bad for film and television industry stakeholders in Louisiana, once the leading hub of service production and now struggling amid uncertainty and an $180 million cap on tax credits that was instituted last year. That state's lieutenant governor is floating a "trial balloon" proposal - in the New York Times no less - which would see Louisiana extend production incentives in return for a promise that taxpayers will share in the profits from any big winners at the box office.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/06/business/media/louisiana-politician-sees-hollywood-gold-in-states-future.html?_r=0

Speaking of winners at the box office: an article in the Los Angeles Times last week focused on the increasing appeal of faith-based films to the theater-going public. As detailed below, more and more producers and executives are trying to tap into the market for belief-affirming movies.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-faith-based-movies-20160325-story.html

Over the last few months I have presented articles about attempts to disrupt the traditional theatrical distribution model for feature films. The Los Angeles Times this week took an in-depth look at Napster founder Sean Parker's unorthodox home-video service called Screening Room that would give users access to films the day that they're released in theaters for $50 each
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-sean-parker-20160405-story.html

Finally this week, recent news of the $100 million investment that the Motion Picture of American Corporation has pledged in Northern Ontario made headlines in the LA-based trades. In the Sudbury Star below, company CEO Brad Krevoy explains that he sees great potential for growth in the Northern Ontario film industry.
http://www.thesudburystar.com/2016/03/27/great-time-to-invest-in-north-movie-exec-2

Warmest regards,
Kelly 

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