Mar 26, 2019
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Province’s status-quo funding for Alberta film and TV gets mixed reviews

Members of the Alberta film and television industry expressed disappointment on Thursday with the provincial budget, suggesting they would have liked to have seen a change in the $5-million cap per project provision in the Alberta Media Fund.

There was relief that the NDP government did not cut the fund, which stands at $37-million after receiving an $11-million top up last October. It provides support for film and TV makers, book and magazine publishing and sound recordings. But the fund’s $5-million cap per project means Alberta will remain less competitive than other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, that don’t have that limit. Members of the industry have long lobbied that the cap be raised or eliminated, and there was some hope that the NDP was heading in that direction when it announced the $11-million boost last fall.

“It means our next television series will be in Vancouver,” says Mike Frislev, co-chairman of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures. ” … The bulk of production that is secure, safe and ongoing and employs people for the longest is television series and it’s difficult to do them with the cap in place.”

Nomadic Pictures, which has produced a number of TV movies and series in Alberta, including AMC’s Hell on Wheels and FX’s Fargo, is currently producing the sci-fi series Van Helsing in Vancouver.

In the past, Nomadic and other production companies with TV series had been allowed to apply to the fund twice when the project was an ongoing series, but the government has since enforced a $5-million cap per project.

Still, some were optimistic that negotiations with the government will continue regarding the fund.

“In these economic times we were glad we were able to maintain the level of the Alberta Media Fund,” said Calgary film commissioner Luke Azevedo. “I think a lot of us were cautiously optimistic that we could have seen movement on the cap, either increase or elimination of the cap, which would obviously make us much more globally competitive on larger-budget projects. But overall, it’s tough economic times and we continue to be on the government’s radar which I think we’re all very happy about.”

Damian Petti, who heads the local film workers union I.A. T. S. E 212, admitted there were some “long faces” in the industry after the cap received no attention on Thursday.

“We’ve been at the $5-million cap since 2009 and I have spoken to a number of producers, even today, who see that as a huge hurdle to them bringing projects here,” he said. “In terms of the cap, we’ll continue to service mid-budget and low-budget, but it’s very difficult for projects to come in under that $5-million. I imagine there will a lot of people lobbying to raise that cap.”

Still, Tina Alford of ACTRA Alberta, the union that represents actors, said the fact that the fund maintained the $11-million bump pledged last October was positive.

She pointed out that the Newfoundland and Labrador budget, also released on Thursday, cut $1.3-million from its Film Development Corporation. Nova Scotia reduced its tax-credit program in 2015, 

“(The NDP) have maintained the fund at $37-million, which is good news,” she said. “We’re grateful. It shows diversification and that they do believe in our industry by maintaining the fund and are supporting our screen-based industry.”

Source: Calgary Herald

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Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Province’s status-quo funding for Alberta film and TV gets mixed reviews

Members of the Alberta film and television industry expressed disappointment on Thursday with the provincial budget, suggesting they would have liked to have seen a change in the $5-million cap per project provision in the Alberta Media Fund.

There was relief that the NDP government did not cut the fund, which stands at $37-million after receiving an $11-million top up last October. It provides support for film and TV makers, book and magazine publishing and sound recordings. But the fund’s $5-million cap per project means Alberta will remain less competitive than other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, that don’t have that limit. Members of the industry have long lobbied that the cap be raised or eliminated, and there was some hope that the NDP was heading in that direction when it announced the $11-million boost last fall.

“It means our next television series will be in Vancouver,” says Mike Frislev, co-chairman of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures. ” … The bulk of production that is secure, safe and ongoing and employs people for the longest is television series and it’s difficult to do them with the cap in place.”

Nomadic Pictures, which has produced a number of TV movies and series in Alberta, including AMC’s Hell on Wheels and FX’s Fargo, is currently producing the sci-fi series Van Helsing in Vancouver.

In the past, Nomadic and other production companies with TV series had been allowed to apply to the fund twice when the project was an ongoing series, but the government has since enforced a $5-million cap per project.

Still, some were optimistic that negotiations with the government will continue regarding the fund.

“In these economic times we were glad we were able to maintain the level of the Alberta Media Fund,” said Calgary film commissioner Luke Azevedo. “I think a lot of us were cautiously optimistic that we could have seen movement on the cap, either increase or elimination of the cap, which would obviously make us much more globally competitive on larger-budget projects. But overall, it’s tough economic times and we continue to be on the government’s radar which I think we’re all very happy about.”

Damian Petti, who heads the local film workers union I.A. T. S. E 212, admitted there were some “long faces” in the industry after the cap received no attention on Thursday.

“We’ve been at the $5-million cap since 2009 and I have spoken to a number of producers, even today, who see that as a huge hurdle to them bringing projects here,” he said. “In terms of the cap, we’ll continue to service mid-budget and low-budget, but it’s very difficult for projects to come in under that $5-million. I imagine there will a lot of people lobbying to raise that cap.”

Still, Tina Alford of ACTRA Alberta, the union that represents actors, said the fact that the fund maintained the $11-million bump pledged last October was positive.

She pointed out that the Newfoundland and Labrador budget, also released on Thursday, cut $1.3-million from its Film Development Corporation. Nova Scotia reduced its tax-credit program in 2015, 

“(The NDP) have maintained the fund at $37-million, which is good news,” she said. “We’re grateful. It shows diversification and that they do believe in our industry by maintaining the fund and are supporting our screen-based industry.”

Source: Calgary Herald

Leave a Reply

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>

Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Province’s status-quo funding for Alberta film and TV gets mixed reviews

Members of the Alberta film and television industry expressed disappointment on Thursday with the provincial budget, suggesting they would have liked to have seen a change in the $5-million cap per project provision in the Alberta Media Fund.

There was relief that the NDP government did not cut the fund, which stands at $37-million after receiving an $11-million top up last October. It provides support for film and TV makers, book and magazine publishing and sound recordings. But the fund’s $5-million cap per project means Alberta will remain less competitive than other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, that don’t have that limit. Members of the industry have long lobbied that the cap be raised or eliminated, and there was some hope that the NDP was heading in that direction when it announced the $11-million boost last fall.

“It means our next television series will be in Vancouver,” says Mike Frislev, co-chairman of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures. ” … The bulk of production that is secure, safe and ongoing and employs people for the longest is television series and it’s difficult to do them with the cap in place.”

Nomadic Pictures, which has produced a number of TV movies and series in Alberta, including AMC’s Hell on Wheels and FX’s Fargo, is currently producing the sci-fi series Van Helsing in Vancouver.

In the past, Nomadic and other production companies with TV series had been allowed to apply to the fund twice when the project was an ongoing series, but the government has since enforced a $5-million cap per project.

Still, some were optimistic that negotiations with the government will continue regarding the fund.

“In these economic times we were glad we were able to maintain the level of the Alberta Media Fund,” said Calgary film commissioner Luke Azevedo. “I think a lot of us were cautiously optimistic that we could have seen movement on the cap, either increase or elimination of the cap, which would obviously make us much more globally competitive on larger-budget projects. But overall, it’s tough economic times and we continue to be on the government’s radar which I think we’re all very happy about.”

Damian Petti, who heads the local film workers union I.A. T. S. E 212, admitted there were some “long faces” in the industry after the cap received no attention on Thursday.

“We’ve been at the $5-million cap since 2009 and I have spoken to a number of producers, even today, who see that as a huge hurdle to them bringing projects here,” he said. “In terms of the cap, we’ll continue to service mid-budget and low-budget, but it’s very difficult for projects to come in under that $5-million. I imagine there will a lot of people lobbying to raise that cap.”

Still, Tina Alford of ACTRA Alberta, the union that represents actors, said the fact that the fund maintained the $11-million bump pledged last October was positive.

She pointed out that the Newfoundland and Labrador budget, also released on Thursday, cut $1.3-million from its Film Development Corporation. Nova Scotia reduced its tax-credit program in 2015, 

“(The NDP) have maintained the fund at $37-million, which is good news,” she said. “We’re grateful. It shows diversification and that they do believe in our industry by maintaining the fund and are supporting our screen-based industry.”

Source: Calgary Herald

Leave a Reply

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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