Senate budget committee approves film grants

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Senate budget committee has a new way to attract filmmakers to our state, approving a plan to use film grants as opposed to offering tax credits.

The plan would replace a tax credit that has been in place for nearly a decade. The proposed $20 million fund would be used to pay grants to projects like films and television series.

To qualify, filmmakers would have to agree to spend a certain amount of money in the state. Grants would be prioritized based on jobs and the economic benefits of the project.

About 300 people from across the state were involved with NC Film Industry Day at the Raleigh Legislative Building Wednesday.

They were hoping to encourage lawmakers to renew tax incentives to attract production companies to make movies and television shows in the state.

Since 2010, the state has offered a 25 percent refundable tax credit to production companies spending at least $250,000 here. Travel and Tourism experts say such projects can generate millions of dollars for local communities.

The tax credits will expire at the start of 2015 unless they are renewed by the General Assembly.

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