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May 14, 2018

May 11th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

The Cannes Film Festival is currently in full swing and the trades are full of dispatches from that Mediterranean city. Ontario made the cover of the Hollywood Reporter's Cannes edition this week with a story that examines how our jurisdiction has recently consistently produced hits, including The Shape of Water, Spotlight, Maudie, American Gods and The Handmaid's Tale.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/inside-ontarios-awards-season-success-nice-see-oscar-make-himself-at-home-here-1110534

Cannes is not without controversy this year, as festival organizers have announced new rules around press screenings and competition. As reported in The Wrap below, Netlifx has boycotted the festival over what it deems an overly restrictive theatrical release mandate and - quel horror! - selfies have been banned from the red carpet.
https://www.thewrap.com/cannes-film-festival-2018-no-selfies-no-netflix-no-problem/

There were a number of stories this week about jurisdictions with plans to increase film and television production tax incentives in hopes of luring more business.

The state of New Jersey is looking to get back in the game more than eight years after then-Governor Chris Christie torpedoed tax credits over his dislike of MTV's Jersey Shore. As detailed in Variety below, New Jersey's newly elected Governor announced at the Montclair Film Festival last weekend that he would be signing a law in the next few weeks to bring incentives back.
http://variety.com/2018/biz/news/new-jersey-governor-phil-murphy-production-tax-1202800644/

Ohio is also looking to boost incentives for filmmakers. Cleveland media reported this week that Ohio State House Bill 525 would increase the cap on the state's current 30 per cent tax credit from $40 million per year to $100 million annually.
http://www.cleveland19.com/story/38077871/more-movies-filming-in-cleveland-commission-wants-bigger-tax-incentive

And fresh off recent news that Saudi Arabia has lifted its ban on movie theaters, comes an announcement that the middle eastern Kingdom is offernig a new 35% cash rebate to incentivize international film production, as well as a 50% rebate available for spend on Saudi labor. Deadline has details below.
http://deadline.com/2018/05/saudi-arabia-cash-rebate-incentive-international-productions-cannes-1202388205/

Finally this week, summer is approaching and with it a spate of studio blockbusters. As reported in The Wrap below, Hollywood is hoping that three Marvel movies and Disney’s first non-holiday “Star Wars” release will drive summer box office to a recovery from last year’s dismal results, which produced the worst May-August domestic ticket revenues since the turn of the century.
https://www.thewrap.com/summer-box-office-preview-2018-marvel/

Warmest regards,
Kelly

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

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