news digest


Tax credit upgrade among N.Y. budget

NEW YORK — New York will increase its movie production tax credit benefits to 15% and cover above- and below-the-line costs, according to the 2008 state budget proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The current tax credit offered to qualifying productions by the state is 10% and only covers below-the-line costs. Additionally, the proposed budget would raise the benefit cap from $60 million to $75 million by 2011. Should the proposed legislation pass the State Assembly, it would increase the current 10% offered to qualifying productions by the state by another 5%. Additionally, the benefit cap will rise from $60 million to $75 million by 2011.

Pitt picked up to vp at Cartoon, Boomerang

Adina Pitt has been named vp content acquisitions and co-productions at Cartoon Network and Boomerang, where she will be responsible for identifying, negotiating for and acquiring preproduced series, specials, movies and shortform product for exposure on all platforms. She will continue to oversee those programs once they have been acquired and positioned at each of the networks. Pitt will be based in New York, reporting to Cartoon Network chief content officer Robert Sorcher.

Film Independent lands Irvine grant

The James Irvine Foundation is giving Los Angeles-based Film Independent a three-year, $150,000 grant to support Film Independent's Talent Development Program and diversity initiatives. The grant will be used for Film Independent's Project:Involve, which pairs emerging, culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals, and for Film Independent's annual talent guide.

'Evening' to close PAFF

Andrew P. Jones' "Kings of the Evening" will have its world premiere Feb. 18 at the closing-night gala of the Pan African Film & Arts Festival. The film, which centers on an ex-con's attempt to rebuild his life during the Depression, will screen at the AMC Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15 Theaters in Los Angeles. PAFF runs Feb. 7-18.

Flo Rida inks with Sony/ATV

Sony/ATV Music Publishing said Wednesday that it has signed a worldwide co-publishing agreement with Flo Rida. The deal includes the rapper's hit single "Low" featuring T-Pain, which has topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the past four weeks, as well as his interest in songs on the upcoming debut album "Mail on Sunday" (Altantic). "Low" is expected to be featured in the Touchstone film "Step Up 2 the Streets," which opens Feb. 14. It also is part of the Atlantic movie soundtrack album.

Palm gets 'Together' with docu

Palm Pictures has acquired North American theatrical and home video rights to Paul Taylor's "We Are Together," a documentary chronicling the lives of children in the Agape Orphanage in South Africa. A Rise Films production in association with HBO Documentary Films and the Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation, the film was produced by Taylor and Teddy Leifer. Palm is planning a May theatrical release.