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Alberta pushes for stronger filming incentive

FargoProduction professionals in the western Canadian province of Alberta are pushing for improvements to the regional filming incentive.

Alberta currently offers a production grant which includes funding of between 25% and 30% of eligible local spending, but has a restrictive per-production cap of just CA$5m.

Half a dozen production organisations including the Directors Guild of Canada’s Alberta District Council and The Alberta Post Production Association have launched a campaign encouraging the government to consider either raising or removing the cap, reports the Calgary Herald.

“I’ve had very direct discussions with NBC Universal [and] with the Motion Picture Association. They view Alberta as really fertile ground if – and only if – we can address that one issue,” said Tom Cox, a Calgary producer and board member of the Alberta Media Production Industries, in comments to the Calgary Herald.

“The crew here are world-class, the locations are great, [and the] infrastructure is growing. It’s all here.”

Alberta has had success hosting the acclaimed TV adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Fargo (pictured) – which is currently shooting its third season locally – and UK drama Tin Star. Alejandro Inarritu’s survival feature The Revenant also shot largely in the province. Liam Neeson’s latest action movie Hard Powder will film in the resort town of Banff near Calgary from March. 

Last year the Calgary Film Centre became Alberta’s first purpose-built film studio.

The regional production industry feels relaxing the per-production cap is crucial to enabling Alberta to compete more effectively with Vancouver on the west coast. 

For more on filming in Alberta see our production guide.

Image: FX Networks