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Pennsylvania raises filming incentive fund

The Dark Knight Rises in PittsburghPennsylvania in the eastern US has introduced a modest boost to its 25% filming incentive by lifting its annual fund from $60m to $65m, effective from the 2017 financial year.

In addition, unused tax credits from the previous year will for the first time be rolled over and made available again to filmmakers, bringing the full fund closer to $125m.

Production professionals in Pennsylvania have been calling for a boost to the state film fund for several years to help Pittsburgh and Philadelphia compete with New York and Toronto, and also with Atlanta further south.

“While the programme’s expansion in tax code measure doesn’t go as far as I would prefer, this boost acknowledges the success of the programme and will hopefully spark greater legislative interest in expanding the programme even further,” said Pittsburgh senator Wayne D Fontana.

The state’s production industry had in fact been looking for a figure closer to $100m to fund the annual filming incentive. 

While the rollover of unclaimed tax credits from previous years will be welcomed, the uncertainty of specifically how much extra money is actually available each year on a long-term basis means producers will likely need to assume the $60m figure remains the upper limit. 

Pittsburgh has attracted occasional high-profile features like Tom Cruise’s first Jack Reacher movie and the metropolis stood in for Gotham City in The Dark Knight Rises (pictured). Pennsylvania now primarily attracts mid-budget films and TV shows. 

Upcoming productions include drama series Manifesto, which will tell the story of the search for the so-called Unabomber, a domestic terrorist in the US who sent explosives through the mail to universities and airlines for nearly 20 years through the 1980s and 90s.

For more on filming in Pennsylvania see our production guide.

Image: Ron Phillips/Warner Bros. Entertainment/Legendary Pictures