NC state budget for 2022 fiscal year highlights incentives for the film industry
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After a strong year in North Carolina, the state budget is presenting incentives that are changing for film makers. The new state budget for the next fiscal year changes the qualifications for films seeking a rebate through the N.C. Film and Entertainment Grant.
The N.C. Film and Entertainment Grant program has lowered the amount of money television and film projects have to spend in the state in order to receive financial incentives. Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, says this will benefit the state’s film industry.
“This has been a great year, it’s been the biggest year ever in film history in Wilmington and in North Carolina, and so you know this should give people an ability to see that you know, we think it’s going to be here, and all of these changes are positive,” said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.
An example of the changes made to the qualifying spending amount is feature-length films are now required to spend around $1.5 million to receive a rebate, down from about $3 million. Susi Hamilton, chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council On Film, Television, and Digital Streaming, says this opens the door for more productions being made in North Carolina.
“What lowering the threshold did, was make it more accessible to smaller budgeted films. Not necessarily small budget films, but films and production work that would not be able to meet that threshold in the amount of expenditures,” said Susi Hamilton, chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council On Film, Television, and Digital Streaming.
The budget also increases the amount of money a production can receive in a rebate.
“We’re seeing projects spending more money now. Streaming services are spending more money, series are costing more, and we have lost series through the years because we have not been able to provide an incentive that has been competitive enough with other states. So, hopefully now this will be able to allow us to reach more projects,” said Griffin.
Hamilton says the new budget shows the government’s support in the continuous future growth of the state’s film industry.
“We’re moving in a positive direction to build and improve on the current program so that it can be accessible to more people, and bring more work to the state of North Carolina,” said Hamilton.
Projects that qualify can apply for a 25% rebate on money spent in-state. These changes did not affect the amount of money that’s allocated yearly for the program, it remaining at $31million.