Entertainment NewsIllinois Film Production Tax Incentives Boost Diversity

Illinois Film Production Tax Incentives Boost Diversity


Illinois recently saw a huge film and television production boost due to its numerous tax incentives and diversity initiatives. These offerings have encouraged filmmakers worldwide to come together, create beautiful content, and experience everything this vibrant state offers.

When producing any , the bottom line must constantly be balanced against creative decisions. From blockbuster movies to local commercials, moderation between art and is necessary for success. By operating in a state that offers tax incentives, productions can experience the best of both worlds and reap significant benefits.

, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker proudly signed a 10-year extension for the state's film industry tax incentive program, granting productions an impressive 30% of eligible expenses returned to them until January 1st, 2033. The credit has recently been expanded to include nine crucial roles for non-residents: director, writer, DP, production designer, costume designer, production accountant, visual effects supervisor, editor, and composer. This is an excellent opportunity for those not residents of the area to have access to these prestigious positions, which could potentially lead them toward success in their careers.

Peter Hawley, deputy director of the Illinois Film Office, has declared that obtaining and being eligible for incentives is simple. There's no restriction on how many productions will be approved due to there being “plenty to go around”, making film production in Illinois a great option!

“We're set up to have products come in here and go to work right away,” according to Hawley; with his experience as a professor of film and filmmaker, he has an incomparable understanding of what productions necessitate most.

Projects with 30 minutes or less require at least $50,000 in funding, whereas a minimum budget of $100,000 must support projects lasting over half an hour. With a few chuckles from Hawley, it's easy to see the intent: Illinois strives for simplicity and efficiency when welcoming productions. After all, their goal is for visitors to enjoy their stay in the state so much that they return repeatedly!

The film commission grasps the time-sensitive nature of productions and strives to meet the needs of each project. Films and television shows have the exclusive opportunity to apply for tax incentives up until five days before their onset of principal photography. At the same time, commercials may wait with applications till 24 hours before they start.

Though the legal process can take up to 45 days, productions have plenty of time to get their applications ahead of that timeline. Hawley and her team are always prompt with their reviews. Upon approval, the recipient will be granted an Accredited Production Certificate (APC), allowing them to submit their claims for reimbursement even years later, depending on schedules, timing, and budget.

While the state boasts excellent airports, hotels, and dining options, these are not necessarily the most critical factors for the approval of applications; astonishingly, the aim is for productions to recognize that they are selecting Illinois because of its tax incentives.

To help productions get the most out of their investments, the film office is focused on creating a diverse and highly-skilled crew from Illinois. The state has educational infrastructure and programs to develop a knowledgeable local workforce, making it an ideal location for production.

To promote equitable employment opportunities, we offer an additional 15% incentive when crew members are hired from areas whose population may be traditionally underrepresented, according to census data. The Illinois Film Office requires that productions provide a gender and ethnicity breakdown of their state-based crew, giving evidence to prove they have done everything in their power to fulfill roles according to the initiative. This could include sharing contact details for anyone who was contacted but not contracted as part of the crew.

“We have, perhaps, the most diverse crew base in the country,” says Hawley. According to the data, APC-holding projects typically possess an even split of gender and minority representation, with approximately 50% of their positions filled by women or minorities.

By offloading their tax incentives, productions can donate a fraction of the transfer cost to support programs that offer specialized training. This way, the is actively cultivating its local to draw upon for years.

Illinois has toiled endlessly to build the required infrastructure that any film-friendly state requires for production. Featuring a renowned crew base, the state has an array of vendors and studio spaces to fulfill every production's requirements. There's a bonus: on top of the tax credits, “it's also typically less expensive to film here in Illinois than it is on the coasts,” Hawley says.

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Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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