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Movies made in Indiana: Bill receives support

by Stewart Cole

INTANAPOLIS – Indiana was once the iconic landscape for movies like Rudy and BagsToday, however, filmmakers find it more difficult to produce films in the state without tax incentives. The new legislature aims to change that.

Republican House Speaker Robert Morris is the latest Indiana lawmaker to introduce a tax incentive for filmmakers. This is not the first attempt, as the previous legislation fell again and again. The filmmakers say this is because the requirements were very specific.

“Very specific about how the tax deduction will work. How much money should there be for this? What percentage should the tax incentive have? introduced John Armstrong to Bloomington-based Pigasus Pictures. “This becomes very messy when you try to go through different committees in the state legislature.”

House Bill 1315 will authorize the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to oversee all tax incentive applications from filmmakers. The agency already manages tax incentives for other industries, so the infrastructure is there.

The bill hopes to create jobs by giving manufacturing companies a tax advantage if they hire Hoosiers.

“Governor Eric Holcomb often says that. We are [a] operating state. “We want to see Hoosiers return here to Indiana to work and work,” said spokesman Morris. “We will train them here in Indiana and give them jobs here in Indiana in the future.”

“Nine out of ten times, if you study in Indiana and you want to be a director, your future is outside of Indiana,” Armstrong explained.

This new legislative push comes at a time of prosperity for filmmakers. With the expansion of streaming services, content production points are increasing day by day.

“What’s exciting is that we have three feature films that will be released this year and early next year,” Armstrong said. “The third film is called Runner and is directed by a wonderful female voice that won the Cannes Short Film Festival two years ago. “

Mr Morris sees the bill as a way to turn Indiana into a production hub by leveraging free space.

“Look at the communities that are gone from the past, where you have big stores that are gone. “Hundreds of thousands of square feet can be converted into production houses,” said spokesman Morris. “We have dunes in northern Indiana. We took the southern part and we have a forest. “You can shoot almost any scene in the world here in Indiana.”

“Literally any building in Indiana that is not in use could easily be turned into a movie studio,” Armstrong agreed. “There are old high schools, old shopping malls, all over the country that have been turned into production studios. What I’ve heard is that Netflix needs ten times more production studio space than is available in the world today. There is an outstanding content that wants to be produced wherever there is a welcoming place to do so. Netflix is ​​looking for places to shoot right now. With a limited amount of investment, you build it and they will come “.

Spokesman Morris says the bill is now in the hands of the House Committee on Media. He also says that there is a similar language being discussed in the Senate. He hopes that the legislature will succeed before the end of this session.

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