California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program Welcomes 23 New Film Projects by Diverse Storytellers

Aug 23, 2021 | Press Release

Latest Round Includes Big-Budget Movies and Small Indie Projects
from Acclaimed Producers to First-Time Filmmakers

Hollywood, Calif. — August 23, 2021 — The California Film Commission today announced that 23 feature films have been selected for the latest round of tax credits under the state’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program.

They include 13 independent and 10 non-independent projects by a wide range of filmmakers including Aziz Ansari (“Untitled Aziz Ansari Project”), Kenya Barris (“Untitled Jonah Hill Project” and “White Men Can’t Jump”), Jerry Bruckheimer (“Beverly Hills Cop 4”), Brian Grazer and Salma Hayek (“Escape”), Jonah Hill (“Dixon”), Karyn Kusama (“Untitled Karyn Kusama Project”) and Kobi Libii (“Untitled Kobi Libii Project”). The projects represent a wide range of genres and talent.

“We look forward to welcoming this diverse blend of films and filmmakers to the tax credit program,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell. “The 23 projects announced today will bring thousands of jobs and significant economic opportunity to regions across the state.”

Based on data from each tax credit application, the 23 projects will generate nearly $678 million in “qualified” spending, defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors. Overall spending in California will increase significantly with the inclusion of above-the-line wages and other production expenditures that do not qualify for incentives under the state’s uniquely targeted tax credit program.

In all, the projects will employ an estimated 4,088 crew, 873 cast and 40,621 background actors/stand-ins (the latter measured in “man-days”) over a combined 953 filming days in California. They will also generate significant post-production jobs and revenue for California VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers, musicians and other workers/vendors.

Big-budget projects include “Untitled Jean-Marc Vallee Project” with $86.7 million in qualified spending, “Rebel Moon” with $83 million, “Beverly Hills Cop 4” with nearly $78 million and “Dixon” with $71.5 million. As noted above, their overall in-state spending will be significantly higher.

“Being from California, it’s important for me to support my home state whenever I get the chance,” said Academy Award Nominee Jonah Hill. “We are so thankful for The California Tax credit because it will allow me to utilize the amazing crew members and locations offered here at home for my next two projects.”

On the opposite end of the budget spectrum, nine of the 13 independent projects in the current round were accepted into the Tax Credit Program’s recently added “$10 million-and-under qualified spending” category, which reserves credits specifically for lower-budget independent films.

Consistent with the Tax Credit Program’s goal of bringing production jobs and spending to regions across California, 239 (nearly 25 percent) of the aggregate 953 in-state filming days are planned outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Studio Zone (see “Program Year 2 – Allocation #2 Out-of-Zone Filming” chart below).

Fourteen of the 23 projects plan significant out-of-zone production, led by indies “Moving On” (30 out-of-zone days in Ventura County), “Magazine Dreams” (29 out-of-zone days location TBD) and “Untitled Aziz Ansari Project” (25 out-of-zone days in Palm Springs/Riverside County).

A total of 56 applications were received during the July 19 – 26 feature film tax credit application period. The California Film Commission has reserved $138.7 million in tax credit allocation for the 23 conditionally approved projects (see “Program Year 2 – Allocation #2 Conditionally Approved Projects” list below). The list of approved projects is subject to change, as applicants may withdraw from the Tax Credit Program and their reservation of credits is reassigned to one or more projects currently on the waiting list.

The next application period for feature films will be held January 24 – 31, 2022. The next application period for recurring and relocating TV series will be held September 20 – 27, 2021.

About California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program

In 2014, the California legislature passed a bill that more than tripled the size of the state’s film and television production incentive, from $100 million to $330 million annually. Aimed at retaining and attracting production jobs and economic activity across the state, the California Film and TV Tax Credit Program 2.0 also extended eligibility to include a range of project types (big-budget feature films, TV pilots and 1-hr. TV series for any distribution outlet) that were excluded from the state’s first-generation tax credit program. Program 2.0 also introduced a “jobs ratio” ranking system to select projects based on “qualified” spending (e.g., wages paid to below-the-line workers and payments made to in-state vendors). To spur production statewide, an additional five percent tax credit was made available to non-independent projects that shoot outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Studio Zone or that have qualified expenditures for visual effects or music scoring/track recording. The five-year Program 2.0 went into effect on July 1, 2015 and wrapped its fifth and final fiscal year (2019/20) on June 30, 2020.

The third generation of the California Film and TV Tax Credit Program (dubbed “Program 3.0”) was launched on July 1, 2020. New provisions include a pilot skills training program to help individuals from underserved communities gain access to career opportunities. Program 3.0 also adds provisions requiring projects to have a written policy for addressing unlawful harassment and enhanced reporting of above and below-the-line cast and crew employment diversity data.

More information about California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program 3.0, including application procedures, eligibility and guidelines, can be found at http://www.film.ca.gov/tax-credit/.

How Projects are Selected and Awarded Tax Credits Under Program 3.0

Projects approved for California tax credits are selected based on their jobs ratio score, which ranks each project by wages to below-the-line workers, qualified spending for vendors, equipment, etc., and other criteria. The top 200% ranked projects in each round (i.e., those that would qualify if double the amount of funding was available for the current allocation round) are evaluated, and those with the highest-ranked jobs ratio scores receive a tax credit reservation. Those not selected are placed on the waiting list. The tax credit program allocates funding in “buckets” for different production categories, including non-independent films, independent films, TV projects and relocating TV series. This allocation system enables applicants to compete for credits directly against comparable projects. As has been the case since the state launched its first-generation tax credit program in 2009, the California Film Commission awards tax credits only after each selected project: 1) completes post-production, 2) verifies that in-state jobs were created and 3) provides all required documentation, including audited cost reports. 

About the California Film Commission

The California Film Commission enhances California’s status as the leader in motion picture, television and commercial production. It supports productions of all sizes/budgets and focuses on activities that stimulate and preserve production jobs, spending and tax revenues in California. Services include administration of the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program, permits for filming at state-owned properties, an extensive digital location library, location assistance and a range of other production-related resources and assistance. More information is available at http://www.film.ca.gov.

 

California Film & TV Tax Credit Program 3.0
Fiscal Year 2 – Allocation # 2 Conditionally Approved Projects

 

Production Title Feature Type Out of LA Area Filming Days Total Filming Days Out of LA Area Counties
Anemone Indie Film $10m & Under 20 20 Riverside
Beverly Hills Cop 4 Non-Indie Feature Film 6 58 San Bernardino
Dead Wrong Indie Film $10m & Under 20 20 TBD
Escape Non-Indie Feature Film 3 54 Desert outside LA
Magazine Dreams Indie Film $10m & Under 29 29 TBD
Moving On Indie Film $10m & Under 30 30 Ventura
Perfect Indie Film $10m & Under 7 31 Riverside, Ventura
Rebel Moon Non-Indie Feature Film 8 117 Inyo
Rose Indie Film Over $10m 15 36 Santa Barbara, Ventura, OC, San Diego
Scarface* Non-Indie Feature Film 18 59 TBD
Seedless Indie Film $10m & Under 19 19 SF, Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara
Untitled Aziz Ansari Project Indie Film Over $10m 25 25 Palm Springs
Untitled Jonah Hill Project Non-Indie Feature Film 5 45 Orange County
Untitled Karyn Kusama Project Non-Indie Feature Film 7 35 TBD
Untitled Kobi Libii Project Indie Film Over $10m 4 30 Ventura
Verona Spies Indie Film $10m & Under 13 27 Orange County
White Men Can’t Jump Non-Indie Feature Film 10 40 San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura
*Reapplied for the current round of tax credits.

 

California Film & TV Tax Credit Program 3.0
Fiscal Year 2 – Allocation # 2 Conditionally Approved Projects

 

  Production Title Company Name Feature Type
1 Anemone AFI Media Holdings Inc Indie Film $10m & Under
2 Beverly Hills Cop 4 Netflix Productions, LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
3 Dead Wrong Deadly Instinct Indie Film $10m & Under
4 Dixon Lakefront Productions, Inc. Non-Indie Feature Film
5 End of Liz as We Know It Nova Prime, Inc. Non-Indie Feature Film
6 Escape Imagine Entertainment, LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
7 F—— Identical Twins Sewer Boys LLC Indie Film $10m & Under
8 Magazine Dreams LAMF Development LLC Indie Film $10m & Under
9 Moving On Moving On Productions, LLC Indie Film $10m & Under
10 Perfect Sunny Spot Productions LLC Indie Film $10m & Under
11 Poolman Barry Linen Productions, Inc. Indie Film Over $10m
12 Rebel Moon Netflix Productions, LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
13 Rose Rose Distribution, LLC Indie Film Over $10m
14 Scarface* Universal City Studios LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
15 Seedless Seedless Movie Company, LLC Indie Film $10m & Under
16 Soulmates Imani Media Group Indie Film $10m & Under
17 Untitled Aziz Ansari Project Peppermint Road Indie Film Over $10m
18 Untitled Jean-Marc Vallée Project Universal City Studios LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
19 Untitled Jonah Hill Project Netflix Productions, LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
20 Untitled Karyn Kusama Project Universal City Studios LLC Non-Indie Feature Film
21 Untitled Kobi Libii Project Magic Society LLC Indie Film Over $10m
22 Verona Spies ARCI Indie Film $10m & Under
23 White Men Can’t Jump TCS US Productions 12, Inc. Non-Indie Feature Film
*Reapplied for the current round of tax credits.    

 

Erik Deutsch
ExcelPR Group (for the California Film Commission)
(323) 851-2455 direct
Email Erik, HERE

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Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tel: 323.860.2960 | 800.858.4749
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