NC Film Spending Up, Council Urges More Incentives

NC Film Spending Up, Council Urges More Incentives

4:50pm Sep 16, 2020
FILE - The Governor’s Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming is looking for ways to bring more film productions to North Carolina. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Five new film and television productions have been approved for North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grants. But industry leaders want more incentives put into place.

According to a state press release, these five productions should generate more than $107 million in spending, and create over 8,000 jobs, including 650 crew positions for local film professionals. The coronavirus halted most film work, but the industry has come up with protocols to help reduce the spread, and each of these productions will have a COVID-19 safety plan in place.

The Governor’s Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming met Tuesday to consider its suggestions for Gov. Roy Cooper and the General Assembly. They discussed topics including bringing back the film tax incentive program. That’s where productions receive tax rebates equivalent to about 25 percent of spending.

The council also looked at expanding the current film grant program. That functions more like a pot of money that has to be applied for, and it is only for bigger budget projects.

Executive Director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission Rebecca Clark says the grant program’s design can leave a city like Winston-Salem out.

“The projects that do qualify are going to most likely film in the two biggest crew areas in North Carolina,” says Clark. “And currently that’s Wilmington and Charlotte.”

The council also discussed ending an incentive requirement that says productions can’t include sexually explicit material that might not be suitable for minors.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing.

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