Alberta’s film industry worried it has lost competitive edge in latest provincial budget

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As expected, the United Conservative Party government will phase out the screen-based production grants in exchange for a film tax credit. This change, which the UCP announced in its election platform, was welcomed and anticipated by the industry. But the budget also said eligible production companies would be able to receive assistance worth 22 per cent of eligible expenditures, which is down from 30 per cent. There will also be a cap of $10 million per project, which is up from the $7.5-million cap imposed by the previous government.

“The transition to a film tax credit was a platform commitment, which provides long-term stability, helps attract large scale productions and is more in line with other provinces,” Justin Brattinga,  Economic Development, Trade and Tourism press secretary, said in an email. “With the film and television tax credit, we are maintaining the same level of funding as the previous screen production grant and look forward to working with the film sector to grow and expand.”

Due to oversubscription from the previous grant-based program, however, new money for film tax credits will only be $15 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, $30 million in 2021-22 and $45 million in 2022-23. Total money between the two programs will be capped at $45 million per year as the government makes the transition, matching the total of grants per year by the previous program. See more at Calgary Herald.

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