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April 11, 2014

April 11th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE April 11, 2014
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

This week was a busy one for me, punctuated by a very successful Ontario Night party on Wednesday night at the Cat and Fiddle pub in Hollywood. More than 70 Ontario ex-pats came out to eat, drink and network, making it one of our most successful mixers yet. You can check out some pictures from the evening on the L.A. office blog - http://torontoontarioinla.blogspot.com/

Here in Los Angeles, recently-elected Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to throw his support behind keeping production in California, as a bill to expand incentives makes its way through the legislature. As detailed in the L.A. Times below, just hours after David Letterman announced plans to retire in 2015 Garcetti contacted CBC chief Les Moonves and urged him to move the next iteration of the show to Los Angeles from New York.

A follow-up story a few days later in the Times, published after the announcement that Stephen Colbert would replace Letterman, detailed why Garcetti's plea is likely a long shot.

Many in the film industry lobby here in L.A. were peeved this week when a major report on job retention was released and failed to mention the production sector at all. As reported in the Times below, the Los Angeles 2020 Commission's reported, entitled  A Time for Action offers various prescriptions to reverse a net decline in jobs over the last two decades but contains no discussion of what should be done to reverse a long-term decline of employment in L.A.'s entertainment industry.

In a development that surprised many industry-watchers, the Maryland legislature this week failed to approve the increase in tax credits sought by the producers of House of Cards, which has shot there the last two seasons. As reported in the Baltimore Sun below, it is now uncertain whether the Netflix hit will resume shooting in Baltimore this summer as planned.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer  - hometown paper in the city where Captain America was recently shot - took a look this week at a federal bill, recently approved by Senate Committee, which would improve tax breaks for the film industry. As detailed below, the bill includes a two-year extension of the Chapter 181 provision which allows movie makers to deduct up to $15 million of their production costs in the same year in which they incur those costs, rather than spread out the deduction over five years. To do so, at least 75 percent of the filming must be done in the United States. Studios can write off even more, up to $20 million a year, if they spent that money filming in economically distressed areas and the federal tax break comes atop any tax credits offered by the state.

And finally this week, the U.K. continues to sharpen its competitive edge with regards to the screen-based industries. As detailed below in the Hollywood Reporter, Britain last Friday officially launched new incentives for the gaming industry.

Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with me with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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