As Hollywood productions pick up again, film tax credit bills could bring filmmakers to MN

Now that Hollywood productions are on the rise again, two bills could come before the House and Senate could bring filmmakers to Minnesota.

The invoices are called HF-1975 and SF-1986. They encourage filmmakers to come to Minnesota by offering them a transferable tax credit of up to 25% on government purchases for production.

Riki McManus, director of production for the Upper Midwest Film Office, believes such a production incentive program is invaluable for an economy recovering from the pandemic.

“It creates jobs and leaves money behind,” said McManus.

McManus pointed out places where it has worked – including St. Louis County, where a similar incentive program was passed earlier this year and is already producing results.

“We have a number of productions coming to St. Louis County to shoot here because of our appeal,” said McManus. “We have two films that will be shot in May. We have a few more coming in November. We have one that is still looking to the summer. “

Beyond St. Louis County, there are incentive programs like this in around 30 US states, according to McManus.

“It’s a billion dollar industry,” said McManus. “Billion. And we could do that with this incentive too.”

Legislators could vote on the bills this summer.

“The end of the session is May 17th, and at this point we don’t know how long it will be or if it will go beyond the May 17th deadline as it has done in the last couple of cases,” said McManus.

After a difficult year for the film industry, McManus is hoping for the opportunity to feature Minnesota in TV shows and movies.

“So many projects that asked to be shot want snow,” said McManus. “Lots of Christmas stories, lots of Hallmarky stories.”

McManus is also looking forward to productions running at full speed again and bringing some light to the world of lights, cameras and action at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s very exciting,” said McManus.

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