Thursday, April 23, 2015

To be continued: Province and film industry strike a deal

But what does this really mean for Nova Scotia’s film future?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 6:23 PM

It’s enough to get the cameras rolling again, but for how long?

The provincial government and Screen Nova Scotia have reached a consensus, revealing a new system of incentives for the province’s filmmakers.

The Liberal government has faced harsh criticism since slashing the tax credit two weeks ago, but meetings this week with Screen NS figures seem to have produced some results.

Nova Scotia will now have an all-spend model incentive that Screen Nova Scotia says will keep the film industry competitive and, most importantly, in business.

“It’s different in a lot of ways, but the key difference is it’s not a labour-based tax credit,” says Screen NS’ Scott Simpson. “It’s an incentive fund based on the amount of money that’s spent in Nova Scotia on Nova Scotians.”

Simpson and Marc Almon have been behind closed doors all this week with finance minister Diana Whalen working out some of these details. The two industry figures say they remain concerned about some elements and do not agree entirely with the way events have unfolded, but believe the new system will be beneficial to filmmakers in the province.

“Frankly, if there had been more engagement ahead of time we wouldn’t have been in this situation,” says Almon.

But a lot of questions still remain. The film industry is better off than it was on April 9, but the devil will be in the details.

“I would say actually there is a reduction in funding, in some ways,” Almon says about the new deal. “However, the key thing is that we do feel we’re able to remain competitive. The most important thing has been understanding this is a critical industry to the 21 century.”

Screen Nova Scotia will be holding a session tomorrow for media and businesses impacted by the film tax credit initiative.

Keep a watch on The Coast for more details about how this system will impact Nova Scotia’s film industry.

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