Every major news outlet has let everyone in the state of Florida know that the budget has been reduced due to a shortfall in funding. The Don Davis Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act of 2007 took a hit right along with rest of the state. The film incentive fund was cut from $25 million last year to $5 million this year.
Of note, part of the change in last year's legislation was that funding would crossover from the 07/08 fiscal year into the 08/09 fiscal year.
There are 4 incentive queues. Queue A is for the big boys. Feature films, TV, commercials, and music videos with qualified expenditures over $625,000. Queue B is for multiple commercials or music videos with combined qualified expenditures over $500,000 and single productions over $100,000. Queue C is for the indies and this really means large indies in the true scope of things. This is only for Florida feature films and documentaries over 70 minutes. Qualified expenditures must be at least $100,000 and no more than $650,000. Queue D is for digital media projects.
State Film Commissioner Lucia Fishburne was able to give us a breakdown by queue. As of the last day of fiscal 2007/2008 which was June 30th, there was $1.7 million remaining in Queues A & B. Added to this is $4.2 million in funding from the new fiscal year starting July 1st. This comes out to roughly $5.9 million.
Without even counting new requests which started June 23rd, there is a demand of over $9 million for the incentive from certified 07/08 crossover projects. These projects must still submit their audited receipts, which are then separately audited by the state. Commissioner Fishburne believes (after audits) that there will be funds left over for new 08/09 projects for these queues.
Queue C, the Independent Florida Filmmaker Queue, has $685,465 remaining in the queue from 07/08. Infuse another $250,000 with 08/09 funds and this queue now has $935,465. This pays out at 15-17% of Florida expenditures. This queue is very strict on keeping the money for Florida filmmakers. 6 out of 8 specific personnel must be from Florida and major post production work must be done in Florida.
Queue D has $391,085 remaining from 07/08 and gets another $500,000 for a total of $891,085 for this fiscal year.
To find out specifics and download forms, go to www.filminflorida.com and look for incentives in the upper left of the website.
If you are in South Florida, you may want to attend a meeting on July 14th in Miami to discuss incentive issues. Contact Maria Chavez for details at 305-665-0179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.