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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Warmest regards,

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