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Fight or flight 

With the recent announcement of the province slashing its film tax credit, NS filmmakers are faced with a decision to move away or stay where, apparently, they’re not welcome.

Christopher Ball of Mahone Bay believes Nova Scotia couldn’t be more perfect. A five-time winner of the Best Cinematography at the Atlantic Film Festival, he loves the ocean, the wilderness, everything the Nova Scotian lifestyle has to offer. Still, he says, he will have to leave if the province’s slashing of its film tax credit goes through, simply because there will be no work.

DHX media has also announced they will be leaving the province if the tax credit proposition goes through.

Copernicus Studios says they are hopeful the government will work with filmmakers to come to a positive solution.

Adam Mimnagh, executive producer at Huminah Huminah Productions, says “if things stay the way they are, we’ll have to send the work to Hamilton, Ontario where there is a 68% tax credit.”

Katrina Walsh of Boulevard Productions says unless the “disastrous” decision is reversed this week, Boulevard will no longer be able to survive. “Without the tax credit support my career will not continue in Nova Scotia.”

Aram Kouyoumdjian of Roomtone Productions has worked on almost exclusively tax-credit assisted projects over the past 20 years. “We don’t want to leave Nova Scotia, but we’ll have to.” Kouyoumdjian stresses his love of Nova Scotia and the heartbreak he feels at the possibility of having to say goodbye.

Rob Cotterill, Assistant Director of Trailer Park Boys, is unsure what the future might hold. “I cannot say I am going to leave Nova Scotia, but I cannot say I will stay. Me and my family will fight as long as we can.”

Marc Tetreault of Shut Up & Colour Productions is in a similar position. “We would absolutely love to maintain operations in Nova Scotia,” he says. “However, we suddenly do not feel supported, or comfortable with our business operations in this province.”

Other filmmakers are passionate about staying here and fighting, no matter what. Jay Dahl of Northeast Films says, “I want to tell you, make no mistake. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here and I’m going to fight for my home.”

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