FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES $30 MILLION ANNUAL INCREASE IN CITY FINANCING FOR FILM PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT PROGRAM
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today visited the feature film The Nanny Diaries on location in Tribeca to announce that in the coming weeks the Administration will work with the New York City Council on a local law to reauthorize and expand the "Made in NY" tax credit initiative, which will provide $30 million in City financing annually for local film and television productions through 2011. The "Made in NY" tax credit initiative has helped to create jobs and expand the City's $5 billion film and TV sector, which supports employment for more than 100,000 New Yorkers. The Nanny Diaries, produced by The Weinstein Company and directed by Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini, is shooting in New York City as a result of the "Made in NY" incentive program. Mayor Bloomberg was joined by Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein, Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (MOFTB) Commissioner Katherine Oliver, and City Council members David Yassky, David I. Weprin and Domenic M. Recchia Jr.
"Our Administration originally designed the film and television incentives program and fought for it, and we are delighted it has been so successful in generating approximately $500 million in production spending in 2005, and creating thousands of good jobs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Because of this success, the original allocation of funds has been exhausted earlier than expected. That's why we suggested not only extending the program beyond 2008, but also increasing the funding before 2008. Since 2002, we have dedicated ourselves to expanding New York City's entertainment industry, and expansion the City's Film Production Tax Credit will help keep the industry growing."
Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, stated, "We are thrilled to be shooting The Nanny Diaries in New York not only with a local crew, but also with New York actors and filmmakers. My brother Bob and I have always been based here, and we are grateful to Mayor Bloomberg's Administration for being such dynamic champions of the entertainment industry. They've really rewritten the rules, and now a New York movie can be made on location in New York. This incentive program will ensure that we are able to continue to bring production business to the City we love and call home."
In January 2005, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a 5% City tax credit for qualified film and television productions. The credit is part of the "Made in NY" incentive program which Mayor Bloomberg promised to deliver in his State of the City address and officially unveiled in August 2004. The incentive was so successful that in March 2006 the program reached its $50 million allocation. The program has yielded a $1.5 billion impact locally.
Just a few years ago, the City was competing with places like Toronto and Prague for films and television productions that were supposedly set in New York City. In fact, now it is New York that's become a stand-in for films with story lines that have locations based in other cities. Last year, New York City played host to more than 250 independent and studio films - compared to 200 in 2004 - and 100 television productions. The numbers of shooting days hit an all-time high of 31,570 - a 35% increase over 2004, and double that of 2002.
As a result of New York State's 2007 Executive Budget, the State's and the City's allocation of tax credits for film and television production has been expanded and extended. Previously, $25 million was allocated annually by New York State and $12.5 million by the City. Under the reauthorization and expansion, the State will increase funding to $60 million annually and the City can increase funding to $30 million annually. Mayor Bloomberg confirmed today that the Administration will work with the City Council to ensure the full funding of the "Made in NY" incentive program. The increased State and City allocations will be retroactive to 2006 and run until 2011. What was a $175 million program, of which $125 million was financed by the State over 5 years and $50 million financed by the City over 4 years, has been increased by almost $428 million, to a total of $600 million, of which some has already been allocated.
"New York is the most cinematic City in the world, and we continue to make ourselves film friendly in this highly competitive environment by offering free permits, one-of-a-kind locations, police assistance and unique marketing credits," said Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Katherine Oliver. "We recognize the challenges that face our entertainment workforce and look forward to extending the successful Film Production Tax Credit, a key component of the 'Made in NY' incentive program."
"I applaud the Mayor's decision to continue the film industry's New York City renaissance by extending the Made in New York film production credit program. New York is the greatest city in the world to film in and its production future is now brighter than ever," said Dick Wolf creator and Executive Producer of one of the most successful brands in the history of television - "Law & Order."
In addition to the tax credit, the "Made in NY" incentive program includes a marketing credit which provides productions with free outdoor media to support their releases, and the "Made in NY" discount card, issued to all productions for the duration of their shooting schedules, which offers discounts at nearly 500 vendors across the five boroughs. The discount card lowers the cost of production in New York City and steers production business to local communities. In February, the MOFTB launched "Hot Shots," an online photo library on www.nyc.gov/film which gives producers and location managers instant access to a catalog of City-operated sites, such as: beaches, bridges, courthouses, highways, jails, military, police and fire facilities, parks and playgrounds, public spaces, and streets and intersections throughout the five boroughs. Many of these sites are available to productions at no charge.
In 2005, and in conjunction with the incentive program, the City initiated a training program for production assistants to introduce greater diversity into the local entertainment workforce, ensure that crews work collaboratively with the neighborhoods in which they shoot and give more New Yorkers access to job opportunities within the industry. To further support the local workforce and create opportunities for New Yorkers, the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, in conjunction with the City's Department of Small Business Services, allocated federal funds to independent films which hire crew members in advanced positions and train them for their new responsibilities.
The Nanny Diaries based on Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin's The New York Times No. 1 best-selling satirical comedy of the same name, is being shot this spring and early summer by The Weinstein Company entirely in New York City. The film, which stars Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Alicia Keys, Chris Evans, Paul Giamatti, and Donna Murphy, is being adapted and directed by Academy Award nominees Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Academy Award nominee Richard Gladstein is producing The Nanny Diaries through his production company, FilmColony, with Dany Wolf executive producing.
Stu Loeser/Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958
Julianne Cho/Kara Alaimo (Film, Theatre & Broadcasting)
Sarah Levinson Rothman (Weinstein Co.) (646) 862-3823
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