Record 497 Projects Apply for California's Film and TV Tax Credits

Excel PR

Twenty-three projects were initially chosen by lottery, and the final list of approved projects will be announced July 1.

A record 497 projects, up 30 percent over last year, have been submitted to the California Film and TV Tax Credit Program, which began accepting applications June 2 for its $100 million in available tax credits. An initial 23 projects were chosen by lottery, while the remaining 474 projects were placed on the waiting list.

Applicants were required to submit their proposals June 2 to the California Film Commission’s office in Hollywood between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Commission, with assistance from a Cal Fire deputy state fire marshal, then conducted a lottery drawing to determine the order in which the projects would be considered. The applications will now be vetted to ensure they meet all the qualifications. The final list of approved projects will be announced on July 1. It is expected that a significant number of wait-list projects may be allocated tax credits, as approved projects withdraw due to scheduling delays or other production-related factors. When a project withdraws, its credits are reassigned to the project next in line on the waiting list.

“This year’s dramatic growth in the number of applications reaffirms that California is the preferred choice for projects of all types and sizes,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “The industry wants to base productions in California, but incentives now drive those decisions.”

The state awards $100 million in tax credits for the fiscal year running from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

The state offers a 20 percent tax credit on feature films budgeted between $1 million and $75 million, movies of the week or miniseries with a $500,000 minimum production budget and new TV series with a $1 million minimum budget. Tax credits of 25 percent are available to TV series that filmed all of their prior seasons outside of California and indie films budgeted between $1 million and $10 million.

This is the sixth year that the state has made funding available under a program that began in 2009 to help curb runaway production.