Pic office gets one-month reprieve

Funds from Travel and Tourism to cover expense

BOSTON — With only days to go before an interim state budget shut down the Massachusetts Film Office, funding was found to keep it open during the month of July.

$25,000 will be transferred from the state’s Office of Travel and Tourism to cover the month’s expenses. The Film Office was to shutter for four weeks under the interim budget as Acting Governor Jane Swift and the state legislature hammered out an agreement for the new fiscal year.

Robin Dawson, director of the Film Office since 1994, said that in the wake of the original announcement “there was a great deal of pressure exerted by the local film community and the press, and some members of the Legislature stepped forward” to keep it going.

However Dawson cautioned that this only keeps them open another month. A final budget has yet to be agreed to, and a proposal to fold the twenty-five year old Film Office’s duties into another agency remains on the table.

The Film Office has cultivated a large support group (Friends of the Film Office) outside of government which attends an annual Oscar gala and premieres of locally shot films, and also contributes to charitable and film related projects co-sponsored by the office. One of the beneficiaries of this year’s gala was the Mass. 9/11 Fund, aiding local families who lost someone in the attack.

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