The MN Film & TV Board announced their 2019 legislative plan on Tuesday, December 4rd at the their preview breakfast. The event was held at James. J. Hill center in downtown St.Paul. The crowd of politicians, board members, lobbyists, film crew, actors and other interested parties noshed on brunch items and coffee for about an hour. At 9am, the executive director of the film board, Melodie Bahan, took the stage and opened up the event.
Director Bahan announced the film rebate in MN is lacking, She proposed an increase of the rebate (aka as “Snowbate”) to $10 million per year, the board would also like language in the current bill to be adjusted and an additional Tax Credit Incentive added for larger projects of feature films and TV series. She looks forward to meeting with the Governor-elect Tim Walz.
The director then turned the stage over to Mark Phillips, Commissioner, Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation. Phillips announced an annual $250,000 grant for films made in the arrowhead. This grant was met with applause.
Vincent A. Thomas, Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Minneapolis College took the stage and announced a partnership with his college and the film board to help train and funnel students of diversity, race and gender to the Film industry. More details are to be announced.
Philip Gilpin, Executive Director, ITVFest was the last speaker to talk, his festival of independently produced TV is strongly considering a move to MN from its home base in Vermont. He sees MN as culturally ripe to flower with more film business and culture. (It was then announced a week later, Duluth as the new home of ITV fest.)
Local 490 Officers Deanna Johnson and Vice President Mark Wojahn attended the event for the union. VP Wojahn commented,
“Local 490 is interested in increased funding for the industry. We support a new Tax Credit and a continued rebate. We also like the idea of Minneapolis college training a more diverse workforce. We look forward to seeing these new legislative bills pass and educational programs develop and these fresh crew members to apply to our union when they are ready. “
The event was well attended and in a beautiful location. Local 490 was happy to attend and hopes to see production thrive again in our state.