Features
Aprio: Top-3 Fraud Vulnerabilities Associated with Remote Work

COVID-19 has changed American culture in more ways than we could possibly address in this article, with a permanent impact reaching from education to healthcare and, especially, the workplace. One of the most radical changes many companies continue to reckon with stems from the rapid and lasting transition to remote work.

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GSEC: Legislative Update, Final Week

The legislature reconvened, Monday, March 29 for legislative day 39 and will work through yesterday for Sine Die. Sine Die is the final day of the 2021 legislative session, and the date by which a bill must be approved by both Chambers in order to be sent to the Governor’s desk for approval or veto.

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Georgia Game Developers Association Update

This is your last week to apply to speak at CIMFest June 12! The Columbus Interactive Media Festival (CIMFest) gets better every year, and grew even as we went virtual in 2020! This year’s event will be hybrid, with most of our sessions happening online, but with Columbus State University opening to a 50-person socially distanced event on site.

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Music and Entertainment Community Statement on Final Passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan provides absolutely essential economic relief for workers in the American creative community who continue to face an uncertain path back to work due to the pandemic. This legislation’s extension of CARES Act and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation benefits into early September, as well as critical tax forgiveness for the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance claimed in 2020, will provide much-needed certainty for creative community workers and their families.

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State Arts Grant Director Lilly to Lead Georgia Council for the Arts

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced that Tina Lilly will be the new Executive Director of Georgia Council for the Arts, effective immediately. Lilly has served Georgia Council for the Arts for the last 14 years, most recently as director of the organization’s $2 million grant program.

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Georgia May Start Taxing Digital Products in July

Lawmakers in Georgia are looking to extend the state’s sales and use tax to digital goods and services. If House Bill 594 is enacted as written, audiovisual works, electronic books, video games, and a host of other digital products and services would be subject to sales and use tax starting July 1, 2021.

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TEN LEAVES DILATED Premieres at SXSW Film Festival 2021

The 14-min. film uses audio interviews of mothers, doulas, and birth professionals alongside a visual exploration of cabbage birthing myths and fairytales throughout history in order to investigate the modern-day cabbage patch fairy tale and its connection to the lack of candid discussion about birthing in our society.

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GSEC: Legislative Update

The legislature reconvened Monday, March 22 for legislative day 36 and will work through Thursday, March 25 completing legislative day 38. Wednesday, March 31, will be Sine Die, which is the final day for a bill to be passed by both chambers before being sent to the governor’s desk for approval or veto.

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Waycross welcomes movie crew to town

Camera crews filming a big screen movie is not a common site in the little town of Waycross. Yet, the town’s charm was enough to convince a director as the right place to make his movie.

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Savannah’s Georgia Tech campus could soon house a major movie studio

At a meeting of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Committee on Real Estate on Tuesday, Sandra Neuse, the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor for real estate and facilities, presented the board with plans to convert the campus into a major production studio, in partnership with Georgia Film Academy.

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IATSE Celebrates Women’s History Month

During the month of March, we will be sharing this history, amplifying women’s voices, and honoring the magnitude of their influential work and unyielding dedication to the union and entertainment industry.

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GSEC: Legislative Update

The House passed a resolution for the legislature to reconvene, Monday, March 1, for legislative day 25 and work Wednesday and Friday completing legislative day 27 on March 5. Monday, March 8, will be Crossover Day, which is the deadline for a bill to pass out of either legislative chamber in order to be considered this session.

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Peter Stathopoulos Joins Taylor English, Bolstering the Firm’s Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice

Stathopoulos has extensive experience practicing in the areas of state and local taxation and economic development incentives, with an emphasis in entertainment tax incentives. He helped draft a portion of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act of 2008, which has made Georgia one of the leading U.S. destinations for film, television and digital entertainment productions.

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Georgia Ranked Top 10 Exporting State in 2020 for First Time

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that the State of Georgia ranked among the United States’ Top Ten exporting states in 2020 for the first time. Georgia merchandise exports reached 215 unique countries and territories and experienced the lowest rate of export contraction among all top ten states, despite headwinds from a global pandemic.

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Esports are growing; so are opportunities for gamers

In South Carolina, Erskine and Newberry Colleges offer scholarships. In North Carolina, it’s Belmont Abbey, Barton and Lees McRae colleges, while in Virginia, Marymount and the University of North America have gaming programs. And, institutions in Georgia such as Georgia State University also offer esports scholarships.

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Savannah Regional Film Commission Update

Barry Jenkins released another beautiful teaser, In Aeternum, for the upcoming The Underground Railroad series. In an online article from IndieWire.com, his motivation behind the unique perspective of this latest teaser is explained. A large portion of the production was filmed in the Savannah Region and in other parts of Georgia. The limited series will debut on Amazon Prime in 2021.

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GSEC Legislative Update

The legislature reconvened Monday for legislative day 20 and work through Friday, February 26 completing legislative day 24.  We are approaching Crossover Day, the deadline for a bill to pass out of either legislative chamber in order to be considered this session, which takes place on the 28th legislative day.

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Moonshine: New Seasons, Oscar Shortlist, Swag Store

In 2020, Moonshine mixed, colored, or edited over 75 Episodes and Feature Films—including Netflix’s The Liberator (GA’s first posted Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR original series) and Oscar-shortlisted / MTV Distributed documentary 76 Days—on top of a full plate of international ad work. Despite global hardships, 2020 was a successful year in post for Georgia and our team.

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EXPOSED: A Conversation with Charles Bowen

In this episode of EXPOSED, we talk with attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen. Bo’s firm is located in Savannah Georgia but serves clients throughout the country on matters concerning entertainment, film and music. Bo discusses legal strategies and trends including the impact COVID has had his consultations in 2020 and 2021.

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David Dastmalchian to Host Fangoria Chainsaw Awards

“As a life-long Fango fan and horror hound, it’s a great honor to be hosting the Chainsaws, especially in light of the difficult year that we’ve all faced together,” said Dastmalchian in a statement. “The isolation of 2020 was devastating and the amazing horror films of the past year helped many genre fans to endure the lockdowns as well as unifying the horror community in a wonderful way.”

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The Atlanta Film Society announces first wave of films programmed for Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference

The Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS) is pleased to announce the first wave of films programmed for the upcoming 45th annual Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF), slated for April 22 through May 2, 2021. Each year, this first wave announcement acts as both the earliest glimpse at the upcoming festival as well as a representation of the exciting programming choices to come.  

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Exposed: A Conversation with Chris LeDoux

In this episode of EXPOSED, we speak with Crafty Apes co-founder Chris LeDoux. He discusses how VFX and post production have evolved in the pandemic era. He also discusses trends he sees for moviemaking in Georgia and beyond. 

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Frazier & Deeter Expands National Senior Leadership Team

Frazier & Deeter, a Top 50 accounting and advisory firm with offices in the US and the UK, announced today several changes to its senior leadership team. The firm has added new roles of Chief Strategy Officer and National Service Line Leader, while also separating the CFO and COO roles.

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ESL Gaming Unveils 2021 Direction and Event Calendar

 ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company, has unveiled an overview of its 2021 planning direction for esports tournaments and DreamHack festivals, providing a full list of dates. Included is DreamHack’s first live, in-person festival since the pandemic began.

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SCAD Announces Lineup for Virtual 2021 SCAD aTVfest

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) proudly announces the initial lineup for the 2021 SCAD aTVfest. Now in its ninth year, the university’s annual signature event celebrating all things television and streaming will be a virtual experience taking place Feb. 4-6, 2021.

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Augusta Film 2020 Year-End Summary and Update

COVID-19 critically halted the film industry cancelling all productions planned in Augusta after March 2020. The good news is interest in Augusta as a film production center grew. As the film industry had time on its hands, FILM Augusta saw inquiries and requests for information increase over 2019.

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Fangoria Partners With Circle Of Confusion To Launch Fangoria Studios

Fangoria is expanding its genre-driven empire with Fangoria Studios. The entertainment and publishing company is teaming with Circle of Confusion for the newly launched banner to develop and produce film, television, and podcasts using the Fangoria, Starlog, and Gorezone brands with a focus on sci-fi and horror projects with global appeal. Circle of Confusion is set to represent them in all areas.

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Speaker Ralston Pledges Support of Georgia’s Film Industry

At this year’s annual Georgia Chamber Eggs & Issue Breakfast, Speaker David Ralston was asked about support in the General Assembly for Georgia’s film and digital entertainment industry.  Georgia’s industry was hit hard by the pandemic, but has become a global model for returning to work safely and has been credited for leading Georgia out of a pandemic related recession.

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Morris Brown Receives $160K Gift To Establish ESports Center

Pharaoh’s Conclave (PCX), Georgia’s leading organization for diversity and inclusion in competitive video gaming, and the Thomas Family Fund are proud to announce a contribution of $160,000 to Morris Brown College in honor and memory of the family patriarch, Ronald Floyd Thomas (MBC 2002).

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GSEC Legislative Update: Session has started

Georgia’s legislative session began, with 36 freshman legislators and new leadership in several key committees. While the calendar seems to still be up in the air due to COVID, passing the budget and addressing voting rights are the main issues of focus.

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SAG-AFTRA Comments on Awards Show Scheduling

We are extremely disappointed to hear of the conflicting date, March 14th, announced today for this year’s Grammy Awards telecast. We announced the same date for the SAG Awards last July with the intent to give the greatest possible scheduling consideration for other awards shows. We expect the same consideration from sister organizations throughout the industry.

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Richard M. Bates, Noted Disney Exec Passes

Everyone loved Richard. Generous, supportive, charming and witty, he was widely respected and admired here in Washington and beyond, and he was a fierce advocate for the creative industries and the Walt Disney Company — which for him was much more than a job.

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Music Community Applauds Step Forward on DMCA Reform

22 music community organizations released the following statement on Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Chairman Thom Tillis’s proposal to restore balance to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), so that it can best achieve its objective to address online infringement

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Opinion: Georgia’s film industry again going strong

While the stars are not indicative of the politics of the film industry as a whole, the prospect of the “heartbeat” bill had some threatening to boycott our state. We were on the verge of collapse. Some in the Georgia Legislature began to question the film tax incentives.

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Big Changes Ahead for Georgia Entertainment Tax Credit

Georgia’s popular Film Tax Credit will undergo significant changes as of January 1, 2021. House Bill 1037 (H.B. 1037) was drafted in response to a report released earlier this year by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA). The report revealed the use of inadequate procedures by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) to verify expenditures that qualify for the credit, resulting in the improper granting of credits. H.B. 1037 was signed into law on August 4, 2020 and was designed to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.

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DreamHack Reveals Refreshed Brand on “DreamHack Day”

As part of its annual “DreamHack Day” DreamHack has revealed a refreshed brand with an identity focused on the gaming community. The new look, created in partnership with WPP brand agency Superunion, also reflects the company’s evolution into a global destination for immersive, gaming lifestyle experiences where the community comes to life.

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Georgia Production Summit VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

FROM GPP: Mark your calendar as busy on January 15-16: They’re the official dates for the Georgia Production Summit 2021. We’re hosting our first ever virtual summit on the 15th & 16th and you’re invited! Early bird registration for GPS2021 is now open, so claim your spot now.

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Motion Picture Association Renews Charles Rivkin’s Contract as Chairman and CEO

“The pandemic has only underscored how great storytelling helps to connect people – even when they are forced to be apart. I look forward to continuing to work with our Members and partners to advocate for creators, protect their content and economic livelihoods, and sustain the unparalleled pioneering spirit that has characterized our industry for more than a century.”

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Did Hollywood Help Turn Georgia Purple?

Now after Joe Biden collected the state’s 16 electoral votes, besting Donald Trump by 12,670 votes and becoming the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Georgia since 1992, the question is, how has the surging entertainment business played a role in the state going blue?

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