Michigan doubles film grant cap to $50 million for 2013

Gov. Rick Snyder has upped Michigan’s film grant money to $50 million, from the present $25 million that all but killed what had been one of the biggest US film markets, for the new fiscal year that starts in October. 

The higher cap, which still must be approved by legislators, is considerably less than the film industry and pro-film legislators had been seeking, reports The Detroit Free Press.  

Hopefully State doubles film grant to $50 million cap for 2013

the boost will help Raleigh Studios in Pontiac survive. The $80 million studio, now sitting with seven idle stages, was thriving until Snyder cut film incentives in late 2011. The state’s first tier 42% tax credits were replaced with film grants.

So far this year, the Michigan Film Office has received 15 applications for the film grants, compared with 66 in the first five months of 2011.  Only one incentive – a $79,000 grant for a small movie to film in Petoskey in June – has been approved.

In 2011, eight productions approved for the incentives had wrapped by mid-June.

The MFO is expected to announce approved incentives for a few productions, including a Warner Bros. movie about a killer tornado called “Category 6″ that plans to spend $41 million in the state.

“Until we can consistently offer an incentive that employs three or four working crews and we can assure Hollywood it isn’t a yearly battle for funding, Michigan won’t again become a top location for filmmaking,” said location manager Dave Krieger.

THE 13th WATERFRONT FILM FESTIVAL, June 14-17, offers it usual great lineup of indie features, shorts and docs in the lovely Lake Michigan resort town of Saugatuck.  During this year’s festival, 68 films, many of them from Michigan filmmakers, will entertain guests from throughout the Midwest.

Some of the highlights: June 14 opening night outdoor party with Beverly McClellan (“The Voice” finalist) and a screening under the stars.

June 16, a Music Extravaganza featuring live music on the waterfront following an Actors Panel.

June 17, “Biker Chef” Christopher Coppola will screen his “Biker Chef” TV pilot, prepare culinary samples paired with wine tasting from the Coppola Winery.

EMINEM’S BOXING MOVIE “Southpaw,” about a welterweight boxer trying to get his life and career back on track, is on hold, so the Detroit rapper can presumably focus on his music, it was reported. 

The movie, however, applied for $8.9 million in Michigan film incentives earlier this year, but the application was withdrawn due to “talent issues,” according to minutes of a Michigan Film Office meeting

This isn’t the first roadbump that Southpaw has hit. After being put on hold by Dreamworks last August, MGM picked up the movie with Sony set to distribute it.