Alberta Canada: Film industry reeling after provincial government cuts to incentives and grants

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More than 500 people from the industry filled a convention room to address concerns about the future of film in the province.

There will now be a funding cap of $10 million per project, which is up from the $7.5-million cap imposed by the previous government.  However, with a phase-out of screen-based production grants in exchange for a film tax credit, an over-subscription to the previous grant program, and an eight per cent drop in assistance on eligible expenditures, there wasn’t much hope in the room at the panel discussion.

Emily Barnett spoke about her career as a film worker and owner of a small film rental business. She hasn’t been in the film industry long, but she loves it. However, she’s torn between her home province and her career because the budget cuts will eliminate any room for job growth.

“This is my home and I’ve lived here since I was a child, and I don’t want to move away. I want to stay here and I want my government to get it. I want them to understand that making a fertile ground for an industry to come and do business here is . . . important,” said Barnett.

“There are economic benefits to giving tax incentives to film productions because they employ people,” she added. “I climbed the ladder in my career this year because we were a lot busier this year, which is due to the higher cap and higher number (of) productions happening here.”

Watching other provinces like B.C. and Manitoba grow their film industries is enticing to Barnett, who is considering leaving Alberta to concentrate on her career in film. See more at Calgary Herald.

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