Posts Tagged Film Industry


Sunshine Week: Spotlight on Film Subsidies’ Dark Side

The other night, while scrolling Netflix for something to watch, I settled on “Don’t Look Up,” a cautionary tale that uses an earth-destroying meteor as a proxy for climate change. I instantly thought – how much in subsidies did this movie get? But I know the answer, because it’s almost always the same: I cannot tell and won’t be able to find out for another couple of years. Here is why.


And the Oscar Award for Best Actor Goes To … Film Subsidies for Their Portrayal of “Being a Good Investment”

As awards season closes out Sunday at the Academy Awards, we went behind the scenes to highlight just how much Best Picture nominees received in tax breaks. Together, we were able to identify about $13 million in tax breaks for three films. The actual price tag, however, might be much larger as so many film subsidy programs lack proper transparency.


The Subsidy Show Goes on in Georgia

States are following different scripts on the contentious issue of film subsidies. Michigan, Florida, Louisiana and Massachusetts are cutting back while Georgia continues to deal out major incentives to the industry.


North Carolina Puts the Brakes on Subsidy Spending but Moves Ahead on Privatization

[caption id="attachment_3796" align="alignright" width="256"]North Carolina State Capitol. Image by Abbylabar (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons North Carolina State Capitol. Image by Abbylabar (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

For the past decade, North Carolina has spent heavily on subsidies, abandoning its previous economic stinginess. In an encouraging new reversal, the Tar Heel State is returning to its old ways. In a just completed short session, the state legislature took two important steps to limit giveaways: it ended one of the country's biggest film tax credit programs and it defeated a proposal by Gov. Pat McCrory and Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker to create a deal-closing slush fund. The defeat of the fund also meant the rejection of an expansion of several existing subsidy programs and a special deal for a paper mill.

Not everything coming out of the session was positive. Lawmakers moved ahead with an ill-conceived plan to privatize job recruitment functions of the state's Commerce Department. The plan was approved despite warnings of problems with similar quasi-public agencies across the country and despite revelations by the N.C. Policy Watch that the Partnership’s CEO lacks experience in economic development and led his company into bankruptcy.

It was the second attempt by the Governor and Commerce Secretary to pass this bill. During the previous legislative session, a similar proposal failed when an amendment that would lift the state moratorium on hydraulic fracturing was added to the bill (the North Carolina chapter in our Creating Scandals Instead of Jobs study has more details on that plan).


Rhode Island Considers Defaulting on Bonds for Notorious 38 Studios Deal

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