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Massachussetts Film Office to lose indie status

One entity to sell market commonwealth as a destination

After nearly four years as a quasi-independent entity, the Massachusetts Film Office will revert to direct state control in January when it is merged with the cabinet-level Dept. of Travel and Tourism.

Producer and former state Rep. Nicholas Paleologos, who has run the Film Office since its inception in January 2007, will not be offered a position under the new configuration. A rep for the department said Paleologos is helping with the transition. A call to the Film Office was not returned.

Created in 1979, the Film Office was shut down in 2002 amid political wrangling and emerged as two private and competing entities. A fresh start was intended when the Film Office was created in 2007; aim was to allow the state to deal with the biz with one voice. With the passage of a number of tax breaks and incentives, the Film Office saw a marked increase in production over the past four years. Among recent releases shot all or in part in Massachusetts are “Shutter Island,” “The Town,” “The Fighter,” “The Company Men,” “Grown Ups,” “Knight and Day” and “The Social Network.”

Move’s part of a reorg enacted into law in August that brings all marketing efforts to sell the state as a destination into one department. While state officials said it is likely someone will be appointed as liaison on film business, it will not be Paleologos, who stepped on some toes when he lobbied against a move to cap the tax break even though it was supported by Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration. The cap was subsequently rejected by the Legislature.

As of Jan. 1, a Massachusetts Marketing Partnership — run by the Dept. of Travel and Tourism — will solicit film business.

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