Oklahoma approves new bill for film tax rebate
In Oklahoma the local government has approved a new incentive package for the film industry.
The Oklahoma Film and Music Office currently provides 35% rebates for local spending by filmmakers, up to $5m a year. Under a new bill, the office will now receive $10m a year through to 2024, but rebates will shrink to 25%.
Oklahoma says that currently for every dollar spent, $3 is returned to the state through spend on catering, housing, wages and other expenses of filmmaking.
"We have a golden opportunity to continue this rebate," the Republican and initiator of the new bill Earl Sears is quoted as saying. "They have to spend money here to receive this rebate. On the same token, we're bringing in an industry. We're bringing in an industry to showcase our state."
The state hopes that the incentives can kick-start a film industry that would eventually be self-sufficient.
Over the past few years Oklahoma has attracted films produced by George Clooney and William H. Macy. Terrence Malick's To The Wonder (see photo) also used the state’s tax rebate as did David Boyd's film Home Run.
Recently the state was one of the locations in which the film August: Osage County was shot. The feature film is scheduled to be released in the US in November, starring big names such as Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor and Julia Roberts.
According to Associated Press, Celia Costas, an executive producer for the film, said that though the film was written about that part of the country, the production would have never taken place there hadn’t it been for the tax rebate. It is said that the film spent almost $16m within Oklahoma's borders.