×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

California Pushes Back Announcement of Production Tax Credit Winners (EXCLUSIVE)

California’s Film Commission has moved back by a month when it will disclose the film and TV shows awarded this year’s coveted state tax credits.

The list has usually been disclosed on the same day as the lottery — set for next  Monday — in recent years but won’t be announced this year until four weeks later on July 1.

The lottery, conducted by the commission, decides which projects will receive a credit usually covering 20% of production costs if shot in California during the 2014-15 fiscal year. Out of the 380 projects submitted last year, 31 productions (including the “Entourage” film and “Pretty Little Liars”) with allocations totaling $100 million were selected and announced the same day.

However, California Film Commissioner Amy Lemisch told Variety the selections will be announced on July 1 because it is the start of the 2014-15 fiscal year. She asserted that disclosing the selections on the same day is counter-productive since initial projects can be subsequently found to not meet the requirements.

“As in previous years, we anticipate a large number of  applications on Monday, and we need to be mindful of the time needed by our small staff to manually review, process and enter information into our database,” she said. “We have determined that it is in the best interest of the program, the applicants and the media to wait until we have vetted the projects before releasing names of projects.”

“In past years, initial lottery ‘winners’ proved to be deemed ineligible and we want to avoid disseminating misinformation,” Lemich added. “Our first priority is to run an efficient program and to provide the most accurate information to the public.”

Variety had made a request to Lemisch this week under the state’s California Public Records Act for immediate access to information about the selected projects following the lottery.

In response, Lemisch turned down the request and asserted that statutory changes enacted in 2012 require that the California Film Commission post tax credit program information to its website — but specifically exempt the information contained in  applications: “Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to make the information submitted by an applicant for a tax credit under this section a public record.”

Lemisch also said that its was a mistake to disclose last year’s selections on the same day as the lottery.

“That statute was implemented when the last extension bill was enacted and went into effect in 2013,” she said. “We acted in error last June, 2013, when we gave out the names of projects prematurely.  Our goal is to correct our error, set up a protocol for this and all future years, and give ourselves more time to meticulously review the applications.”

Projects selected must start production within 180 days or forfeit the credit, which is then allocated to projects drawn from a waiting list. Due to the volatility of the industry and production schedules, however, credits often wind up not being used.

The program — smaller and less generous than rival states such as Georgia, Louisiana and New York — is aimed at retaining film and TV production in California. It is funded through the 2015-16 fiscal year with $100 million in tax credits annually.

An expansion of California’s credit program overwhelming passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, with legislation that would allow big-budget features and most one-hour TV shows to be eligible for incentives. The legislation, AB1839, passed 76-0 with the authors yet to determine how much the state will allocate each year for the incentive program.

More Film

  • 'Downton Abbey' Full Trailer Released

    'Downton Abbey' Full Trailer Released

    The first full trailer for “Downton Abbey,” the much-anticipated movie spin-off of the hit TV series, has been released. The trailer for the Focus Features title was released on the film’s official Twitter account after debuting on NBC morning show “Today.” While little of the plot has been given away to date it is known [...]

  • 'Black Mother' Review: Hypnotic, Intense, Lyrical

    Film Review: 'Black Mother'

    The first set of images in “Black Mother,” Khalik Allah’s intensely felt act of cinematic hypnosis, is a cavalcade of monochrome, vignetted portraits: A young woman in a tight minidress dances in a market; a shirtless man wriggles on one foot, extending the other leg gymnastically high in the air; an old woman with milky [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    China's Huanxi Media Picks Up 'Snowpiercer' TV Show From ITV Studios

    China’s Huanxi Media Group Limited has bought the exclusive broadcasting right in the mainland for the forthcoming sci-fi TV series “Snowpiercer” from ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The show is based on South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s film of the same name and is set to debut on TBS in the U.S. in the spring of [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    'I Lost My Body' Director Jeremy Clapin On His Critics’ Week Breakout

    CANNES  — Jeremy Clapin’s feature debut “I Lost My Body” follows Naoufel, a young man who moves to France, falls in love and tries to create a new life.  Then in a parallel storyline, it follows Naoufel’s severed hand, which runs, jumps and rolls across Paris in an attempt to find the rest of its [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Expands Suit Against Agencies With New Fraud Allegations

    The Writers Guild of America has bulked up its lawsuit with additional fraud allegations against Hollywood’s four biggest talent agencies. The WGA amended its suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with the claim that CAA, WME, UTA and ICM partners have engaged “constructive fraud” by allegedly placing their own interests ahead of their clients [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content