Sep 20, 2019
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Headline, Industry News

Film studio in talks for Ottawa sound stage suing City of Toronto over subsidy to rival

A Toronto film studio that is in negotiations with the City of Ottawa to build a sound stage here is suing the city of Toronto over what it claims is an unfair subsidy to a rival film studio.

Cinespace filed a suit against the Toronto Economic Development Company (TEDCO) in Superior Court of Justice last year, alleging that a 2009 city council resolution which made TEDCO a 20-per-cent owner in Pinewood Toronto Studios, was illegal. “It is the position of Cinespace that TEDCO and/or the City of Toronto has bonused (Pinewood) improperly, acted in bad faith, unfairly and in a discriminatory manner in enacting Bylaw 411, making it illegal and void,” Cinespace wrote in a statement of claim.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Jim Mirkopoulos, vice-president of Cinespace, said he could’’t discuss the lawsuit because the matter is before the courts. But he did want to talk about the company’s interest in Ottawa, although he couldn’t offer many details about the studio plans.

“We’re at the beginning stages and we look forward to establishing a partnership with the city, the local industry, local colleges and universities to build infrastructure for the City of Ottawa,” said Mirkopoulos.

He said Cinespace has been in the studio business in Toronto for 25 years where it runs three studios located on 50 acres. Last year it opened another studio in Chicago. He said its Hollywood clients are looking for different locales and Ottawa seems to fit the bill.

“Ottawa has fantastic locations, iconic buildings that have not been shot many times in previous film and television productions, and it has beautiful landscapes.

“There is such a thing as location fatigue and our clients are looking for new and interesting and functional locations, because a lot of episodic production is location based. Every project is a unique mix of studio days and location days.”

He said he hopes to refine the details for the Ottawa studios and report back to the city in the next few months. The City of Ottawa is putting $1.5 million toward the cost of the sound stage with Cinespace expected to fund the rest of the project or bring in other partners.

“I think Ottawa can certainly host much more production that it currently is hosting and I think we can make that happen,” said Mirkopoulos, adding that the Toronto studios operate at a production level of about 85 per cent.

Some Ottawa television and film producers, meanwhile, are adopting a wait-and-see approach to Cinespace’s entry into the Ottawa market, saying they’d need to learn more details about the company’s plans.

Television producer Chris Knight said he’s not ready to endorse Cinespace.

“I’m reserving comment until I see the conclusion of a successful bid and know what the terms and conditions of the bid are, so until that time there’s nothing for me to endorse,” said Knight.

Producer Marie-Pierre Gariepy of Slalom Productions said she’s happy a sound stage is in the works but wishes more information was available.

“If we want our industry to grow and stay healthy, we need that kind of a space. But it still needs to be affordable, and I’m hoping Cinespace will ask us about what we need, what we do and how we do it,” said Gariepy.

Ron Gallant of Affinity Productions said Cinespace needs input from the local industry to make the sound stage a success.

“I think it’s critical if it were to be successful – and this is based on my own business studies done over the years because I have contemplated the construction of a studio – that any agreement involve the local industry,” said Gallant.

“You need to involve the local players because you have to fill the space. And you can’t rely on attracting outside productions on an ongoing basis. You have to have local projects going in there as well,” he said.

Blair Patacairk, a senior adviser with Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development partner, said he was aware of the Cinespace lawsuit but he declined to comment.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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Headline, Industry News

Film studio in talks for Ottawa sound stage suing City of Toronto over subsidy to rival

A Toronto film studio that is in negotiations with the City of Ottawa to build a sound stage here is suing the city of Toronto over what it claims is an unfair subsidy to a rival film studio.

Cinespace filed a suit against the Toronto Economic Development Company (TEDCO) in Superior Court of Justice last year, alleging that a 2009 city council resolution which made TEDCO a 20-per-cent owner in Pinewood Toronto Studios, was illegal. “It is the position of Cinespace that TEDCO and/or the City of Toronto has bonused (Pinewood) improperly, acted in bad faith, unfairly and in a discriminatory manner in enacting Bylaw 411, making it illegal and void,” Cinespace wrote in a statement of claim.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Jim Mirkopoulos, vice-president of Cinespace, said he could’’t discuss the lawsuit because the matter is before the courts. But he did want to talk about the company’s interest in Ottawa, although he couldn’t offer many details about the studio plans.

“We’re at the beginning stages and we look forward to establishing a partnership with the city, the local industry, local colleges and universities to build infrastructure for the City of Ottawa,” said Mirkopoulos.

He said Cinespace has been in the studio business in Toronto for 25 years where it runs three studios located on 50 acres. Last year it opened another studio in Chicago. He said its Hollywood clients are looking for different locales and Ottawa seems to fit the bill.

“Ottawa has fantastic locations, iconic buildings that have not been shot many times in previous film and television productions, and it has beautiful landscapes.

“There is such a thing as location fatigue and our clients are looking for new and interesting and functional locations, because a lot of episodic production is location based. Every project is a unique mix of studio days and location days.”

He said he hopes to refine the details for the Ottawa studios and report back to the city in the next few months. The City of Ottawa is putting $1.5 million toward the cost of the sound stage with Cinespace expected to fund the rest of the project or bring in other partners.

“I think Ottawa can certainly host much more production that it currently is hosting and I think we can make that happen,” said Mirkopoulos, adding that the Toronto studios operate at a production level of about 85 per cent.

Some Ottawa television and film producers, meanwhile, are adopting a wait-and-see approach to Cinespace’s entry into the Ottawa market, saying they’d need to learn more details about the company’s plans.

Television producer Chris Knight said he’s not ready to endorse Cinespace.

“I’m reserving comment until I see the conclusion of a successful bid and know what the terms and conditions of the bid are, so until that time there’s nothing for me to endorse,” said Knight.

Producer Marie-Pierre Gariepy of Slalom Productions said she’s happy a sound stage is in the works but wishes more information was available.

“If we want our industry to grow and stay healthy, we need that kind of a space. But it still needs to be affordable, and I’m hoping Cinespace will ask us about what we need, what we do and how we do it,” said Gariepy.

Ron Gallant of Affinity Productions said Cinespace needs input from the local industry to make the sound stage a success.

“I think it’s critical if it were to be successful – and this is based on my own business studies done over the years because I have contemplated the construction of a studio – that any agreement involve the local industry,” said Gallant.

“You need to involve the local players because you have to fill the space. And you can’t rely on attracting outside productions on an ongoing basis. You have to have local projects going in there as well,” he said.

Blair Patacairk, a senior adviser with Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development partner, said he was aware of the Cinespace lawsuit but he declined to comment.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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Headline, Industry News

Film studio in talks for Ottawa sound stage suing City of Toronto over subsidy to rival

A Toronto film studio that is in negotiations with the City of Ottawa to build a sound stage here is suing the city of Toronto over what it claims is an unfair subsidy to a rival film studio.

Cinespace filed a suit against the Toronto Economic Development Company (TEDCO) in Superior Court of Justice last year, alleging that a 2009 city council resolution which made TEDCO a 20-per-cent owner in Pinewood Toronto Studios, was illegal. “It is the position of Cinespace that TEDCO and/or the City of Toronto has bonused (Pinewood) improperly, acted in bad faith, unfairly and in a discriminatory manner in enacting Bylaw 411, making it illegal and void,” Cinespace wrote in a statement of claim.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Jim Mirkopoulos, vice-president of Cinespace, said he could’’t discuss the lawsuit because the matter is before the courts. But he did want to talk about the company’s interest in Ottawa, although he couldn’t offer many details about the studio plans.

“We’re at the beginning stages and we look forward to establishing a partnership with the city, the local industry, local colleges and universities to build infrastructure for the City of Ottawa,” said Mirkopoulos.

He said Cinespace has been in the studio business in Toronto for 25 years where it runs three studios located on 50 acres. Last year it opened another studio in Chicago. He said its Hollywood clients are looking for different locales and Ottawa seems to fit the bill.

“Ottawa has fantastic locations, iconic buildings that have not been shot many times in previous film and television productions, and it has beautiful landscapes.

“There is such a thing as location fatigue and our clients are looking for new and interesting and functional locations, because a lot of episodic production is location based. Every project is a unique mix of studio days and location days.”

He said he hopes to refine the details for the Ottawa studios and report back to the city in the next few months. The City of Ottawa is putting $1.5 million toward the cost of the sound stage with Cinespace expected to fund the rest of the project or bring in other partners.

“I think Ottawa can certainly host much more production that it currently is hosting and I think we can make that happen,” said Mirkopoulos, adding that the Toronto studios operate at a production level of about 85 per cent.

Some Ottawa television and film producers, meanwhile, are adopting a wait-and-see approach to Cinespace’s entry into the Ottawa market, saying they’d need to learn more details about the company’s plans.

Television producer Chris Knight said he’s not ready to endorse Cinespace.

“I’m reserving comment until I see the conclusion of a successful bid and know what the terms and conditions of the bid are, so until that time there’s nothing for me to endorse,” said Knight.

Producer Marie-Pierre Gariepy of Slalom Productions said she’s happy a sound stage is in the works but wishes more information was available.

“If we want our industry to grow and stay healthy, we need that kind of a space. But it still needs to be affordable, and I’m hoping Cinespace will ask us about what we need, what we do and how we do it,” said Gariepy.

Ron Gallant of Affinity Productions said Cinespace needs input from the local industry to make the sound stage a success.

“I think it’s critical if it were to be successful – and this is based on my own business studies done over the years because I have contemplated the construction of a studio – that any agreement involve the local industry,” said Gallant.

“You need to involve the local players because you have to fill the space. And you can’t rely on attracting outside productions on an ongoing basis. You have to have local projects going in there as well,” he said.

Blair Patacairk, a senior adviser with Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development partner, said he was aware of the Cinespace lawsuit but he declined to comment.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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