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July 15, 2016

July 15th News Report From Your Los Angeles Representative

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you're aware that Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. The Los Angeles Times had a really interesting article on how the app's success is validating the argument that augmented reality, the "less glamorous, less isolating cousin" of VR is the more likely of the two to take the entertainment world by storm.

Los Angeles-based film and television industry advocacy group FilmLA released its second quarter results this week and the trades trumpeted the apparent success of the California tax credits which more than tripled in value last year. As reported in Variety below, on-location filming of movies and TV in greater Los Angeles increased 5.8% in 2016's second quarter to 9,937 shoot days.

Last week, I presented news that the recent tax credit cap in Louisiana has contributed to a 90% reduction in production activity in that state. This week comes news from the Columbus Dispatch that the state of Ohio has doubled the value of its (still relatively modest) tax credits in hopes of attracting more film and television projects. These seemly endless stories detailing the waxing and waning of incentives in jurisdictions across the world illustrate why stability continues to be the most important building block of a successful and sustainable screen-based industry cluster.

There was news this week that massive Chinese entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is in talks to acquire a 49% stake in Paramount Pictures. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, Wanda also brought AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion in 2012 and announced Tuesday that it had reached an agreement to acquire London-based exhibitor Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group.

Finally this week, the Times also took a look at the progress of the initiative, announced in January by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aimed at doubling the number of women and minorities in its overwhelmingly white and male ranks by 2020. The article below crunches the numbers in its analysis of how far the Academy has come and how much further it has to go.

Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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