Netflix Espionage Thriller Gray Man Gets $20 Million Tax Credit to Film in California

admin   August 18, 2020

Netflix’s “Gray Man” is the latest big-budget feature film win for California’s tax credit program. The action-thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans will bring an estimated $102 million in below-the line wages and other qualified expenditures to the state, behind only “Captain Marvel” on the list of big budget tax credit film projects As with all of the state’s film and TV tax credit projects, overall spending for “Gray Man” will be significantly greater than its “qualified” spending with the inclusion of above-the-line wages and other expenditures that do not qualify for incentives under California’s very targeted tax credit program.

The Gray Man got tax credits with $20 million. An untitled Jordan Peele project received $8.4 million, Invasion starring Octavia Spencer received $2.5 million, Losing Clementine received $2.3 million and Sweetwater received $1.4 million, among other films.

“After announcing two relocating TV series earlier this month, our new tax credit program continues to get off to a great start with today’s list of film projects,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell. “Production activity is ramping back up in California amid COVID-19 with safety remaining a top priority, and Program 3.0 is attracting the kind of big budget films that generate a considerable amount of jobs and in-state spending.”

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the nine film projects (five independent, four non-independent) announced today are on track to generate a total of nearly $284 million in qualified in-state expenditures. They will employ an estimated 1,340 crew, 342 cast and 14,397 background actors/stand ins (the latter measured in “man days”) over a combined 374 filming days in California. They will also generate significant post-production jobs and revenue for California VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers, musicians and other workers/vendors.

Three of the five independent projects (the Jessica Chastain drama “Losing Clementine,” “Nightfall” and the sports drama “Sweetwater” about the first African American player in the NBA) were accepted into Program 3.0’s new $10 million-and-under qualified spending category, which reserves funds specifically for lower-budget independent films.

“We are thrilled to be part of the new Program 3.0 and to be able to base ‘Losing Clementine’ production in California,” said Renée Tab, the film’s producer. “We searched other locations, but thanks to the tax credit we can film here at home where the story is set.”

“Losing Clementine” and five other projects (the Octavia Spencer sci-fi thriller “Invasion,” “Nightfall,” “Sweetwater,” “Untitled Jimmy Warden Project” and “Untitled Jordan Peele Project”) plan a significant amount of production outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Studio Zone. Nearly 40 percent (142 out of 374) of the filming days planned by the nine projects announced will occur in Inyo, Kern, Mono, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as other out-of-zone locations yet to be determined.

Bringing production activity beyond the 30-Mile Zone is a key objective for California’s tax credit program. With the projects announced today, more than 45 out-of-zone film and television tax credit projects account for an estimated total of $140 million in qualified out-of-zone spending across the state. “Program 3.0 is working as intended to ensure that we can continue to bring significant filming to regions across the state,” added Bell.

A total of 81 projects applied during the July 13 – 15 application period for Program 3.0’s inaugural round of feature film tax credits. The California Film Commission has reserved just over $50 million in tax credit allocation for the nine conditionally approved projects

The next and final application period this fiscal year for feature film tax credits will be held January 25-27, 2021. The next application period for TV projects will be held September 28 – 30 (for relocating projects) and October 5 – 7 (for recurring projects).

How Projects are Selected and Awarded Tax Credits Under Program 3.0

Projects approved for California tax credits are selected based on their jobs ratio score, which ranks each project by wages to below-the-line workers, qualified spending for vendors, equipment, etc., and other criteria. The top 200 per cent ranked projects in each round (i.e., those that would qualify if double the amount of funding was available for the current allocation round) are evaluated, and those with the highest-ranked jobs ratio scores receive a tax credit reservation. Those not selected are placed on the waiting list. The tax credit program allocates funding in “buckets” for different production categories, including non-independent films, independent films, TV projects and relocating TV series.

Film Festivals & Markets 2020

admin   July 29, 2020

Locarno Film Festival
August 5-15

The 73rd Locarno Film Festival is reinventing its 2020 edition and has
developed a new initiative, The Films After Tomorrow, aimed at supporting
projects that aim to help filmmakers (10 international and 10 Swiss filmmakers) who had their projects put on hold because of Coronavirus pandemic. Locarno managed to raise $220,000 of prize money for The Films After Tomorrow initiative.

Hong Kong
August 26-29

Amid lockdown and travel restrictions, the Hong Kong Trade Development
Council has decided to migrate the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) to a virtual platform. FILMART Online will take place from August 26-29 and Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum will take place from August 26-28. The virtual FILMART will enable buyer-seller meets, showcase content and seminars.

Venice International Film Festival
Venice, Italy
September 2-12

The 77th Venice International Film Festival will be a toned down physical festival. Around 50 films will be part of official selection on July 28. The main competition, Venezia 77, will feature approximately 20 films. All other titles in official selection will debut either in Out of Competition or Horizons sections. Venice Gap Financing Market will happen in virutal format.

Toronto International Film Festival & Market
September 10-20

The 45th edition of Toronto International Film Festival will take place September 10–19 with socially distanced screenings, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. For the first time, TIFF will launch a digital platform, affording new opportunities to connect with audiences beyond Toronto. TIFF has partnered with Shift72 to develop this platform to host screenings and events.

Moscow International Film Festival
October 1-8

The 42nd edition of Moscow International Film Festival, Russia’s main international film event, is scheduled to run October 1-8. The objective is to promote cultural exchanges and mutual understanding among nations and to develop further cooperation among filmmakers of the world. It is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Federation and the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow.

JW Marriott, Cannes, France
October 10-11

MIPJunior 2020 will push beyond physical boundaries with its first ONLINE+ Digital Hybrid Edition. MIPJunior gathers the most influential buyers, commissioners, producers, development executives and distributors from the global Kids TV industry. MIPJunior is the perfect destination for producers to stand out and for buyers to discover the latest kids programming before sealing partnerships at MIPCOM.

Cannes, France
October 12-15

MIPCOM 2020 will push beyond physical bounaries with its first ONLINE+ Digital Hybrid Edition. MIPCOM is the world’s largest exhibition of studios and distributors, as well as the top showcase for content across all genres and platforms. A world-class market place where leading professionals gather to promote hit-defining content, strike distribution and co-production deals and network face-to-face with creative forces.

American Film Market
Santa Monica, California
November 9-13

The American Film Market will bring its 2020 edition online, said the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®). AFM 2020 Online will run from November 9 to November 13. This year will be the 41st market. “AFM 2020 Online will give global film community opportunities that are always critical to our success,” said Michael Ryan, Chairman, IFTA and Partner, GFM Films.

Goa, India
November 20-28

Preparations for 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) have begun. Asia’s oldest event of its kind, IFFI still holds on to its pre-eminent position as a showcase of cinematic excellence. It has remained steadfast in its emphasis on showcasing the diversity of Indian cinema The festival will take place in limited physical and online format.