California film commissioners are putting on their best face for their second annual “speed dating” breakfast with producers and film commissions from around the state. The event takes place April 12 atop the Bel Age Hotel.

The breakfast reception, a pre-cursor to Santa Monica’s AFCI Locations Trade Show, which runs April 12-14, is a meet-and-greet with feature film, TV and commercial production professionals in five-minute sessions to highlight California’s diverse locations, substantial resources and logistical support offered by the more than 40 regional film offices known as the Film Liaisons in California Statewide (FLICS).

“From San Diego to Humboldt County, California is home to the world’s richest assortment of production locations,” said CFC director, Amy Lemisch. “This event enables producers to learn about what the state has to offer, and to network one-on-one with film office representatives in a quick, fun environment.”

California has recently been the production home to feature pics such as “Letters From Iwo Jima” (San Bernardino), “Zodiac” (San Francisco) and “Ocean’s Thirteen” (Kern County).

For info, contact Joseph Cruz, 323-860-2960 ext.102 or jcruz@film.ca.gov.

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Tennessee’s cameras are ready to roll thanks to three film incentives launched last week.

“These three incentive programs will place Tennessee squarely among the most production-friendly locations in the U.S.,” said the state’s Film, Entertainment and Music Commission executive director, Perry Gibson.

The recently enacted incentives, comprising tax rebates, a headquarters incentive and a grant program established by a $10 million fund, were proposed last year by Gov. Phil Bredesen and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in the Visual Content Act of 2006.

The legislation provides:

  • Visual production companies headquartered outside the state filming projects in Tennessee with a budget of at least $500,000 are eligible for rebates equal to 13% of the production’s “below the line” costs. If at least 25% of the production’s cast and crew are hired in Tennessee, an additional 2% rebate is available for a total of 15%. Another 2% rebate is available if the production also spends at least $20,000 in post-production for the use of music created or recorded by Tennesseans, making the total rebate 17%.

  • The same rebates are available for Tennessee-based production companies with an in-state production budget of $200,000 for the project.

  • Film production companies that establish a permanent headquarters facility in Tennessee and incur a minimum of $1 million in qualified in-state expenses may be eligible for a 15% refund of the company’s qualified expenses. If a production company does not have a qualifying headquarters, but spends at least $1 million in qualified expenses, a company’s investor may receive the refund as long as it has headquarters in Tennessee.

  • Filmmakers who reside in Tennessee can apply for a grant of up to $40,000 for the development and completion of qualified film or digital productions.

“Tennessee has long welcomed artists, no matter which creative medium they choose to work in,” Bredesen said. “Our state is a creative center for the music business and I believe this program allows us to build the same synergies in film and television entertainment as well.”

Info can be found at state.tn.us/film.

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Celebrating its 10th year in publication, the Location Guide, has added a unique online feature, “Benefits & Incentives @ http://www.thelocationguide.com”; that allows producers to demystify the complicated maze of film incentives. The service provides a one-stop comparison of benefits and incentives offered by governments in countries, states, provinces and regions worldwide.

“For example: 80% of your principal photography involves snow-capped mountain landscapes. You can compare incentives for filming in New Zealand, Colorado, Montana, British Columbia, France, Switzerland,said international editor Murray Ashton.

Billing itself as “the essential guide for location filming worldwide,” the publication’s online guide launched in Cannes and has been live since 2001, adding the “Benefits & Incentives” segment this year in response to demand from its subscribers.

The B & I @thelocationguide.com includes an Incentive News section citing recent policy changes as well as a co-production search facility enabling producers to see which countries have co-production treaties with whom.

Thelocationguide.com also hosts an active Pre-Production Forum where production personnel worldwide post location briefs and enquiries.

In phase two of its development, the location guide team will be including a global database of both public and private film funds and a location infrastructure section giving producers an overview of crew numbers, stage space, equipment and other facilities and services available in the particular country or state.

“Time is money and what we have created with B & I will save producers not only time, but frustration in getting the right information quickly,” added Ashton.

For info contact, murray.ashton@thelocationguide.com.

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