100% increase in
at Illinois Film Office
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[FEB. 13, 2004]
CHICAGO -- Gov. Blagojevich
announced that revenues in the Illinois Film Office would be up 100
percent in 2004 from 2003. With the new legislation attracting
studios and filmmakers, film production is expected to increase to
an estimated $50 million in 2004, from $25.6 million in 2003.
"Restoring the film and television
industry in Illinois is important to my administration, and I am
pleased to see that the outreach and tax incentives to the
entertainment community have been a successful first step in
bringing production back to Illinois," the governor said. "In the
future, movies that are made about Chicago will be shot in Chicago
and not Toronto, which is great news for the working men and women
of our production community."
In August of 2003 the governor signed
Senate Bill 785, which created a new tax incentive designed to
attract the film industry back to Illinois. The new law provides a
tax credit equal to 25 percent of the wages paid to Illinois
residents working on television and film projects shot in Illinois.
In order to qualify, productions of 30 minutes or more will have to
spend at least $100,000 on Illinois labor. Other, shorter film
productions may also qualify for the incentive. The law is also
expected to enhance the tourism industry in Illinois.
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Blagojevich's tax incentive program has had a great effect on
Illinois production and has been the key to increasing our
marketability and success at bringing the film industry back to
Illinois," said Brenda Sexton, director of the Illinois Film Office.
"Our office has had the busiest December and January on record, with
inquiries from producers up 500 percent."
At its peak in 1999, film and television
production in Illinois contributed an estimated $124 million to the
local economy. In 2002, the amount was a mere $27.6 million, a
decrease of more than 77 percent. In fact, since 2001, 18 films that
were set in Chicago were actually filmed in Canada.
from the governor's office]