Push for lawmakers to reestablish incentives for films shot in Florida

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An organization wants lawmakers to reestablish incentives for companies to shoot films in Florida.

A lot of shoots are going to Georgia but years ago several movies were shot in Southwest Florida.

In the 1990’s most of the movie “Gone fishin” was filmed here and so was part of the thriller “Just cause.”

The most important incentives are tax incentives.

Film Florida said our state is the only one in the southeast without an economic development program to attract film and television productions and that costs us billions.

Florida has not offered the film industry tax incentives to shoot here since 2016. So it’s no surprise the industry is dying here.

Eric Raddatz, a writer, director, producer, and actor in Florida said, “the truth is, we are missing out on billions of dollars of revenue.”

Raddatz said Florida’s indifference is Georgia’s gain.

Georgia’s governor said his state has already brought in 4.4 billion into the state this year.

“There’s a lot of films that they film and say it’s Florida, but it is being shot in Georgia because of the incentives,” Raddatz said.

John Lux, the Executive Director of Film Florida is fighting the good fight to get lawmakers to save Florida’s film industry.

“An average feature film or television series will spend more than $20 million in a specific location over a short period of time. You do the math on that that’s more than $150,000 a day that would be spent in our local communities,” Lux said.

For Curry Walls of 5th Avenue Films in Naples, the loss is more than dollars and cents. It’s a pride thing.

“Things that are positive, that impact people, that make them look in the mirror, and think about not what everyone can do, but maybe what I can do, or you could do, and then we can share that,” Walls said.

Wall said he hasn’t given up on Florida.

“I love Florida. I really do,” Walls said.

Film Florida says we’ve lost more than 100 major feature films and television series that wanted to film here.

Those projects would have spent more than $1.5 billion in Florida, created more than 125,000 cast and crew jobs, and filled hotel rooms on at least 250,000 nights.

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