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  • Wednesday, December 28, 2022 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This holiday season we are looking back at 2022 with a deep sense of gratitude and hope of the future for the Pennsylvania film community. This year, after months, and years, of advocating for the Film Production Tax Credit, we finally saw our efforts succeed and the program was raised to $100 million. This was a huge win for the state of Pennsylvania and everyone involved in the PA film and television industry. Your support has been invaluable to this organization, and we hope to continue to propel the film community forward with you by our side.

    For 2023, our sights are set to increase the film industry incentive to potentially $500 million. Even though we were able to raise the tax credit program by $30 million to $100 million, Pennsylvania still turns down projects and work for our local crew. This leaves billions of dollars of economic activity on the table for Pennsylvania, as well as missed opportunities for our local businesses.

    Our mission for the first three months of 2023 is to meet with legislators from the House, Senate, and Executive branch to educate them on the benefits of the Film Production Tax Credit Program.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    This year, we are asking our PAFIA Members to GET INVOLVED. There are many ways, big and small, that you can get involved to keep our community strong and active in Harrisburg.

    • DONATE & JOIN: Without PAFIA, there is NO voice in Harrisburg advocating for the Film Industry Incentive. Whether it is $50, $500, or $5,000, we are asking that you consider donating to PAFIA by joining as a member, or simply donating on the website. Any donation, no matter how small, will help sustain us for the future.

    Anyone can be a member of PAFIA, and the stronger our membership numbers are, the more visibility the film industry has with our legislators. Now is the time to invite your friends, family, and colleagues to join with you! More information regarding PAFIA membership opportunities can be found on our website at www.pafia.org/joinus.

    • BECOME AN ACTIVE PAFIA COMMITTEE MEMBER: PAFIA has 6 committees that YOU can join. Full descriptions can be found here. E-mail info@pafia.org for more information.
      • Government Relations
      • Membership
      • Marketing, Fundraising & Sponsorship
      • Social Media
      • Program
      • Independent Film
    • SHARE YOUR STORY: Share positive stories of working in Film in Pennsylvania. PAFIA makes an effort to share photos from sets all over the state and tag the local legislators to show that the film community is WORKING. Please like, share, and comment on these posts to get the attention of the legislators. 
    • DONATE to the local politicians that you support. I, David Haddad, have personally donated $500 to the four Film Caucus chairs with my own money. The Film Community does not generally have a reputation for donating to politicians, and your presence, even small, would be helpful in our fight to increase the program to $500 million. Given the time and significant commitment the four Film Caucus chairs have devoted to our cause, I encourage you to donate to their campaigns, even just $5, $10, $20. A donation to any legislator can easily be done online. 

    In Closing

    Each year, we must thank those who have championed the cause to keep and expand the Film industry in the state of Pennsylvania.

    First, I would like to thank the 1,087 active PAFIA Members who have renewed their membership in 2022. Out of the 1,087 active members, 719 of those members are from our generous Sponsors and Corporate members who have donated between $500-$15,000.

    Second, a huge thank you to the bi-partisan Film Caucus, led by Senators Camera Bartolotta (R) and Jay Costa (D) and Representatives Joe Ciresi (D) and Kathleen "KC" Tomlinson (R) that worked tirelessly to ensure this increase was included in this year’s budget cycle.

    Next, a sincere thank you to our lobbyists, Jim Davis and Beth Brennan, with Cozen O’Connor and our management company, Kassalen Meetings and Events, in particular our Administrative Director, Jennifer Iams and our Social Media Director, Jaymie Macek. You are the spinal cord to the organization and our successes are directly tied to your successes. Your work to move our agenda forward has never been more valuable.

    Finally, thank you to the 21 volunteers on the PAFIA Board from all around the state who give their time and money to this organization. We are always looking to expand our Board with people who can give the organization time, prestige, and money to keep us strong and active in Harrisburg. 

    There is a lot of work to do in 2023, and we appreciate your support every step of the way.

    We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

    Sincerely,

    David Haddad
    Chairman, The Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)

    Become a PAFIA Member

    Make a Donation to PAFIA

  • Friday, November 04, 2022 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The month of October saw a flurry of legislative activity as the end of the 2021-22 legislative session draws to an end on November 30. Most bills that saw action in Harrisburg this month were issues that both political parties could agree on. It was very challenging to move legislation that had opposition, and bills that were contentious fell off the voting calendar and will need to wait until next session to be addressed.

    The House is scheduled to return to session November 14-16, and the Senate is scheduled to return to session on November 15 to close out the current legislative term. While we had anticipated that the brief legislative schedule during “sine die” (the time period after the General Election and before the end of session on November 30) would be focused only on caucus leadership elections, House leadership has indicated that they will be voting on a few bills. While on its own merit, passing bills during sine die that are before the House on a concurrence vote is relatively harmless, it can be a dicey time if the Republican majority tries to pass more partisan legislation. We will be sure to keep you posted.

    Looking ahead to the November 8th general election, current Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro remains consistently ahead of his Republican gubernatorial opponent and current state senator Doug Mastriano in the polls. Shapiro has raised significantly more money this year (nearly $52 million) compared to Mastriano (nearly $6 million) as the race to be the next Governor is breaking state fundraising records. All 203 state House members and 25 of the 50 state Senate members are up for reelection next week. Based off of retirements, primary election results, and other circumstances, we already know that nearly 20% of the PA House membership will be newly elected on November 8th. In the PA Senate, we know that roughly 25% of the 25 members up for re-election will not be returning to the chamber next session. This turnover of rank and file legislators, in addition to the fact that caucus leadership teams and dozens of legislative standing committees will have new chairpersons, means Harrisburg will look a lot different in 2023.

    To close, we wanted to share the below public service announcement as it relates to Election Day next week. While every election is critical, there are several important seats on the ballot this year, and nearly one million Pennsylvanians have already cast mail-in ballots for U.S. Senate, Governor, Congress, state House and state Senate.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    Mail-In Ballots: The deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot was November 1, 2022. If you requested a ballot prior to that date and have not yet returned it, the Pennsylvania Department of State is now urging you to hand deliver your ballot to your county election office, designated drop box, or drop-off site. Mail-in and absentee ballots must be received no later than 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 8. You can find your county election office, drop box, and drop-off sites here.

    Election Day: Polls are open on Tuesday, November 8, from 7:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. Find your polling location here.

    Click here for more information including what to do if you did not return your mail-in or absentee ballot.

    For more information about Pennsylvania’s elections, click here.


  • Monday, October 03, 2022 10:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    All eyes in Harrisburg are focused on the November 8th General Election. With such a limited fall session schedule, legislative action in September was restricted to those items that had bi-partisan support. And given how close we are to election day, there are not too many issues that Democrats and Republicans are agreeing to right now. This trend will continue into October as the Senate has only 5 session days scheduled and the House has just 3 days on the calendar.

    Pennsylvanians are not the only ones interested in November’s gubernatorial race given the state’s reputation as a presidential battleground and the impact that the governor of the state could have on a range of issues, including future election administration and access to abortion. Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) is looking to make some history in his race for Governor - the last time Democrats strung together 3 consecutive gubernatorial wins in Pennsylvania was in the 1840s. Pennsylvania is also home to one of the most high-profile Senate contests of the cycle between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz.

    This week, candidates filed their latest campaign finance reports and Shapiro reported that his campaign raised $25.4 million from June 7 to September 19, ending the three-month period with over $10.9 million in the bank. Shapiro’s haul is significant for gubernatorial campaigns in Pennsylvania, overshadowing the $7.2 million that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf raised for his reelection bid from June to September in 2018 and the $9.6 million Wolf raised over the same time in 2014. Shapiro’s fundraising far outpaces Republican candidate Doug Mastriano as he reported raising just $3.16 million during the same three-month period and enters the final months of the campaign with $2.56 million in the bank. The three-month haul brings his total raised for the cycle to just under $5 million, significantly less than the more than $50 million Shapiro has raised in the cycle.

    The latest Marist poll released on September 27 shows both Democratic statewide candidates (Shapiro and Fetterman) with double-digit leads over their Republican opponents. This survey showed Shapiro with a 13-point advantage over Mastriano in the governor’s race, 53-40. It also showed Fetterman with a 10-point leader over Oz in the US Senate race, 51-41.

    Two days later, Franklin & Marshall College released a poll showing the Republican nominee Oz narrowing the gap against Democrat opponent Fetterman. The F&M poll had the race at 45 to 42 with Fetterman holding a narrow lead. The poll shows that Shapiro maintained a 10-point lead and higher favorable ratings over Mastriano. 

    Earlier this month, Sheryl Lee Ralph, the wife of Senator Vincent Hughes (Democratic Appropriations Committee Chair), won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Senator Hughes is  along-time supporter of the Film Tax Credit and our efforts.

    We are anxious to put the November election behind so we can begin to build relationships with new legislators and strengthen our relationships with our long-time allies. It is challenging to handicap every election that will take place on November 8th so please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have a questions about a specific race.

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2022 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The makeup of the PA Legislative and Executive Branches will look very different in 2023. Not only will PA have a new Governor (current Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running against current Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano) but, on November 8, 2022, all 203 House seats are up for re-election and 25 of the 50 Senate seats are up for re-election. After retirements and primary election results, we already know at least 51 members of the Legislature will not be returning to Harrisburg in 2023. These members include legislators from all four caucuses including those in caucus leadership, committee chairs and rank and file members. When also taking into account the results of November General Election, it is difficult to fully predict the political landscape for 2023. As a result, we will need to be nimble when setting legislative strategy for next year.

    While the 2021-2022 legislative session runs until November 30th, there are very few session days scheduled between now and the end of the term. The House will be in session for 12 days, with 9 of them taking place before the November election. The Senate will be in session for 10 days, also with 9 of them taking place before the November election. See below for a listing of each chamber’s remaining session schedule.

    When the House and Senate briefly return to session the week of November 14th, we expect that leadership elections for 2023-24 will take place in all four caucuses. So while we will know the new leadership teams in both chambers shortly after the General Election, we likely will not know committee chairs and committee assignments until December, and possibly not until January.  

    FALL 2022 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

    September    12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21

    October        24, 25, 26

    November    14, 15, 16

     

    FALL 2022 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE 

    September    19, 20, 21

    October         17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

    November     15


  • Friday, August 12, 2022 4:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A warm hello to our friends in film.

    July 2022 was a huge month for the film industry in Pennsylvania!!!! Given the craziness of everyday life, it is important to take a moment and celebrate our recent success of increasing the film tax credit by $30 million, from $70 million per fiscal year to $100 million per fiscal year. This increase would not have happened without all of your support over the last few years. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies would like to thank David Haddad, members of the PAFIA board, and PAFIA’s general membership for everyone’s willingness to take time out of your busy schedules to advocate for the film industry. We also want to thank Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi for their leadership on this issue. Their email addresses are listed below. Please consider sending them a brief thank you email recognizing their effort and hard work.

    A warm hello to our friends in film.

    July 2022 was a huge month for the film industry in Pennsylvania!!!! Given the craziness of everyday life, it is important to take a moment and celebrate our recent success of increasing the film tax credit by $30 million, from $70 million per fiscal year to $100 million per fiscal year. This increase would not have happened without all of your support over the last few years. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies would like to thank David Haddad, members of the PAFIA board, and PAFIA’s general membership for everyone’s willingness to take time out of your busy schedules to advocate for the film industry. We also want to thank Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi for their leadership on this issue. Their email addresses are listed below. Please consider sending them a brief thank you email recognizing their effort and hard work.

    Senator Camera Bartolottacbartolotta@pasen.gov

    Senator Jay Costacosta@pasenate.com

    Representative K.C. Tomlinsonktomlinson@pahousegop.com

    Representative Joe Ciresijciresi@pahouse.net

    Harrisburg is relatively quiet right now as the Legislature is currently in summer recess. The PA House and PA Senate do not return to voting session until mid-September. Legislators will be spending a lot of time in their districts campaigning as the November 8th General Election draws closer.

    We hope all of you are having a wonderful summer and don’t forget to take the time to celebrate the enormous victory we achieved together earlier this month!!!!

    Jim & Beth


  • Thursday, August 04, 2022 2:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This time last year, the film community in Pennsylvania took a major loss when the Film Industry Incentive was denied an increase, remaining at $75 million, leaving millions, if not billions, of dollars’ worth of film and TV projects on the table. This loss did not discourage our efforts, but only sharpened our focus on our goal to raise the Film Industry Incentive to $125 million, which would be 12 months of work during the year. I am thrilled to announce that our efforts have been successful, and the film industry has been recognized by our legislators and all branches of government, with the Film Industry Incentive being increased to $100 million.

    Thank YOU

    I would first like to offer my deepest gratitude to our PAFIA supporters, individual members, and our corporate sponsors. Without your support, the Film Industry Incentive would not have had the visibility necessary to make it into the budget this year.

    Second, a huge thank you to the bi-partisan Film Caucus, led by Senators Camera Bartolotta (R) and Jay Costa (D) and House Members Joe Ciresi (D) and Kathleen "KC" Tomlinson (R) that worked tirelessly to ensure this increase was included in this year’s budget cycle.

    Next, a sincere thank you to our lobbyists, Jim Davis and Beth Brennan, with Cozen O’Connor and our management company, Kassalen Meetings and Events. Your work to move our agenda forward has never been more valuable.

    Finally, thank you to the 20 volunteers on the PAFIA Board from all around the state who give their time and money to this organization. We are always looking to expand our Board with people who can give the organization time, prestige, and money to keep us strong and active in Harrisburg. 

    Looking Ahead

    Let me be clear: our work is not done. The $100 million incentive certainly brings more work to the state of Pennsylvania, but we will still be turning down projects and work for our local crew. Not to mention, billions of dollars of economic activity to our local businesses. Our sights are set on $125 million, and our work begins now.

    Our ask to our PAFIA network remains the same. Now, more than ever, we ask that you please DONATE to PAFIA, JOIN the organization, and SHARE your story on social media.

    • DONATE & JOIN: Without PAFIA, there is NO voice in Harrisburg advocating for the Film Industry Incentive. Whether it is $50 or $500, we are asking that you consider donating to PAFIA by joining as a member, or simply donating on the website. Any donation, no matter how small, will help sustain us for the future.

    Anyone can be a member of PAFIA, and the stronger our membership numbers are, the more visibility the film industry has with our legislators. Now is the time to invite your friends, family, and colleagues to join with you! More information regarding PAFIA membership opportunities can be found on our website at www.pafia.org/joinus.

    SHARE YOUR STORY

    : Share positive stories of working in Film in Pennsylvania. PAFIA makes an effort to share photos from sets all over the state and tag the local legislators to show that the film community is WORKING. Please like, share, and comment on these posts to get the attention of the legislators.

    Become a PAFIA Member

    Make a Donation to PAFIA

    Meet Our Sponsors

    Meet Our Corporate Members

    Our time is now. Let's get to work!

    Sincerely,
    David Haddad
    Chairman, The Pennsylvania Film Industry Association 

  • Monday, July 11, 2022 8:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Friends in Film,

    We have wonderful news to share from Harrisburg – the film production tax credit is being increased by $30 million and will now have a cap of $100 million!

    After months of negotiations, the PA Legislature is currently in the process of voting the general fund budget bill and accompanying code bills. Yesterday, both the House (184-16) and Senate (38-12) passed the omnibus tax code bill. This is the piece of legislation that outlines the changes to the film production tax credit program.

    In addition to the 43% increase to the program, there was language added to the program that now reserves $5 million (of the $100 million total) for PA Film Producers. If the entire $5 million is not awarded in a fiscal year, the amount not awarded shall be made available for use by taxpayers that are no PA film producers.

    The bill also made technical cleanup changes to multi-film provisions added as part of Act 25 of 2021 last year.

    These changes to the film production tax credit can be found in HB 1342, starting on page 20, line 24.

    Your passionate support of the film industry is what helped get the film tax credit increased. We cannot thank you enough for your time and effort and for talking with legislators over and over and over again about why this program is so important. We are thrilled to share this exciting news with all of you but realize we could not have achieved this success without your help, so please give yourselves a round of applause.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Beth & Jim
  • Thursday, June 30, 2022 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Written by PAFIA Vice-Chair, Maria Shamkalian

    Magnificent city views, introductions to the top industry professionals, celebrity appearances, and many other fantastic surprises were waiting for the attendees of the latest Pennsylvania Film Industry Association event, hosted at the beautiful Bridge on Race open air terrace. Organized by the two PAFIA Board Members: Ken Myers - the founder of Coral, the leading star concierge service - and Maria Shamkalian - celebrity masterclasses host and SAG-AFTRA actress, the event featured Marc Bienstock and offered a unique opportunity for an in-person Q&A with the producer of Split, Glass, and many other award-winning films. Also in attendance were PAFIA Chair David Haddad, Board Members Anie Smith and Lawrence Greenberg, SAG-AFTRA Philadelphia President Nicole Izanec, Local Board Member Meagan Hill and National Board Member Mike Kraycik, as well as several celebrities including actor Brett Gray. Actors, directors, producers and other industry professionals enjoyed a fun networking night accompanied by the delicious hors d'oeuvres and a versatile open bar donated by the Happy Rooster Bar and Restaurant which hosted many previous PAFIA events. She’s Crafty donated the bartending services for the evening and impressed everyone with her charming presentation. New Liberty Distillery provided their insanely popular signature bourbon and rye whiskies, and Stateside vodka added their world-renowned vodka and delicious hard seltzer products.

    In addition to the food, drink, and Q&A, the event had giveaways by the Orange Theory fitness, discounted professional headshots by Maagnifique Photography, thematic film industry caricatures by the story board artist Steve Lefkowitz, music and dancing entertainment by DJ Chris Maag, a raffle and a silent auction. Raffle prizes and auction items included: coaching session with the Director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program and Paramount/CBS Writers Mentoring Program Carole Kirschner, voiceover services from the uber-talented Lisa Leonard, gift certificates to two of Philly’s hottest restaurants - Tuna Bar and Suraya, headshot services and a beautifully framed portrait of Philly’s Center City district from the owner of Maagnifique Photography Kristin Maag, a sampler of luxury spa services from one of the Philadelphia area’s leading salons, David Witchell Salon, and two executive producer packages valued at $1950 from the award-winning production company Buffalo 8 that together with its sister company BondIt Media Capital has produced over 300 feature film and TV projects, invested over $300M+, and garnered over $1B+ in worldwide revenues!

    The event was immensely successful and more celebrity Q&As are now in planning for our local film community to benefit from.

    Check out our Facebook Page to see photos from the event!


  • Friday, April 22, 2022 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    On Wednesday, April 20th, the Senate Finance Committee held a public hearing on Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to either attend the hearing in-person or watch online. If you missed the hearing, please check out the Senate Finance Committee’s website here. It will give you access to all the written testimony that was submitted and a link to a recording of the one hour and 20 minute hearing.

    We were thrilled with the number of legislators in attendance at the hearing – Senate Finance Committee Republican Chairman Scott Hutchinson and Senate Finance Committee Democratic Chairman Wayne Fontana, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R), Senator Judy Ward (R), Senator Devlin Robinson (R), and Senator Jay Costa (D). As you may recall, Senators Bartolotta and Costa are the Senate co-chairs of the bi-partisan Legislative Film Caucus.

    Presenting testimony to the Senate Finance Committee was a group of film and hospitality panelists. All of them shared personal stories about why they love their jobs, why they want to live and work in PA, and why it is important for the Commonwealth of PA to support, and grow,  the film tax credit program. The legislators greatly appreciated the panelists’ real life stories about how each of them found their place in the film industry, how they want to grow their businesses and support others entering the film and TV workforce, and the immense proud they all share in having one of the over 30,000 full time jobs generated or impacted by the film industry.

    While the film industry has generated over $5.2 billion in total economic activity since 2007, the impact of the industry is so much greater than what can be captured in an economic impact study. Our sincere thanks go out to those that participated in the hearing – Gregory Edwards (Executive Committee Member, IASTE Local 489 and Dolly Grip), Lela Checco (Crafty Craft Services, LLC), Keith Frank (Vice President, Teamsters Local 249), Brick Brickman (Set Painter), Trey Matheu (Managing Director, Nemocolin Woodlands Resort), and Dawn Keezer (Director, Pittsburgh Film Office). The wonderful testimony presented yesterday ensured that the legislators recognized and truly saw the faces of all the men and women working in the film industry (and dare I say they saw the hearts of each of the workers as well).

    After such a successful hearing, we must ride the wave of enthusiasm and support for the film tax credit program. We are encouraging all of you to reach out to your state House and state Senate member and ask them to increase the film tax credit from $70 million to $125 million when they pass a budget in Harrisburg this June. You can find the name and contact information for your local legislators using the website found here.

    We are also in the process of finalizing a date (tentatively Monday, May 23) and time for a reception in Harrisburg where film and TV industry stakeholders, like yourself, can mingle in-person with legislators and share your personal stories as to why increasing the funding for the film tax credit program is so important. We will share details about this receptions as they become available.

    Lastly, we wanted to share the Post Gazette’s coverage of the hearing. We thought the article captured the essence of the hearing nicely. The text of the article can be found below or via the link here.

    Pittsburgh-area film workers praise Pa.’s film tax credit, ask for increase before state Senate panel

      

    APR 20, 2022

     

    Pittsburgh Post Gazette

    After ABC’s “The Bachelor” filmed at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, the hotel saw an 18% increase in net revenue over its highest-ever earnings.

    While Tom Hanks filmed on a street in Bellevue for his upcoming movie “A Man Called Otto,” 20 nearby homes got repainted free of charge.

    As crews worked 12-hour days on movies like “The Pale Blue Eye” set to come out this year, staff spent $1.7 million on snacks and drinks locally to keep them going.

    These are all recent examples of the outward impact Pennsylvania’s film industry has on its broader economy, large and small, according to local film industry leaders who spoke before a panel of state senators on Wednesday.

    Several southwestern Pennsylvania lawmakers gathered in Pittsburgh with the film industry professionals to discuss the success of the state’s Film Tax Credit Program — and its unpredictability.

    Since its inception, the tax credit has brought more than $2 billion into the state, with 195 TV shows and movies filmed locally, according to the Pittsburgh Film Office.

    Pennsylvania is one of 42 states that offers some form of a film tax incentive to draw filmmakers to their regions. State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Monongahela, introduced legislation to increase the tax credit from $70 million to $125 million, but it was cut out of budget negotiations last year. The bipartisan lawmakers from the Pittsburgh region said they hope they can negotiate an increase as part of this year’s budget.

    There is no lack of interest in filming in Western Pennsylvania, said Dawn Keezer, the Pittsburgh Film Office director. Instead, the tax credit gets used up so quickly that local film companies need to turn big-time films or TV series away.

    “We have half a billion dollars worth of work that want to be here,” Ms. Keezer told the Senate panel.

    Plus, Pennsylvania has two movie-making hubs with Philadelphia across the state, making it stand out among others — though that means the two regions need to share the tax credits, Ms. Keezer added.

    “It’s Atlanta in Georgia, and Chicago in Illinois,” Ms. Keezer said about other popular places to shoot films in the U.S. “In Pennsylvania, it’s Pittsburgh and Philly, so the credit is underfunded and oversubscribed.”

    Pittsburgh-area film crews have gotten “really good” at painting the city to look like New York, offering a smaller environment where crews can actually close down the streets, Ms. Keezer said. Its proximity to mountains and rural communities also offers filmmakers a desired location to shoot — though it can be hard for them to shoot movies based in beaches or deserts.

    Last year, crime-thriller TV series “Mayor of Kingstown” wanted to film in southwestern Pennsylvania, Ms. Keezer said. But they didn’t have enough tax credits left to get them to film there, so they chose to film in Canada instead.

    This year, “Mayor of Kingstown” will film in Pittsburgh for its second season.

    “We’re thrilled about that, but we have to turn away more work than we ever see,” Ms. Keezer added.

    Ms. Bartolotta said she hopes to increase the tax credit this year, and add some insurance that the tax credit will stay steady for the next three-plus years.

    “You’re not going to build studios.. All of those people moving into Pennsylvania, that’s not going to happen if they think this is going to be a one-year experience,” Ms. Bartolotta added.

    Several panelists from local unions said the film jobs produce consistent, comfortable wages for their employees.

    Keith Frank, the vice president of Teamsters Local 249, tried to dispel the myth that these jobs are not sustainable. Most of his union members will work seven to nine months out of the year, but will work 3,000 hours during that time — much more than the 2,080 traditional 9-5 jobs offer, Mr. Frank said.

    It’s when this tax credit isn’t made available — like in 2017 — that its workers lose jobs, he added.

    Gillian McGoldrick; gmcgoldrick@post-gazette.com 

    First Published April 20, 2022, 4:04pm


  • Thursday, April 07, 2022 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 2022 recap

    The focus this month was on the upcoming 2022 elections as candidates for the PA House and PA Senate had just 10 days to circulate nominating petitions to get on the May 17th primary election ballot. Candidates typically have approximately 3 weeks to secure enough signatures to get on the ballot. In PA, state House candidates need to get at least 300 signatures and state Senate candidates need at least 500 signatures. The timeline was condensed this year due to the legal battle surrounding the implementation of new district boundaries.

    The makeup of the PA Legislature is going to be very different in 2023. We are now up to 37 legislators who have announced that they will not run for their current position. Also, with other candidates having filed their intentions to run for office, there will be at least 43 primary elections in which a sitting legislator is facing one or more contenders. Three of those primaries have an incumbent facing another incumbent – Rep John Hershey (R-Juniata) vs Rep Perry Stambaugh (R-Perry); Rep Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) vs Rep Gary Day (R-Lehigh); and, Rep Pam Delissio (D-Philadelphia) vs Rep Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia). Several members of House and Senate Republican leadership will have primary opponents, including House Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York).

    The Senate Finance Committee has announced a public hearing on Wednesday, April 20 at 10am to discuss the Commonwealth’s Film Tax Credit Program. The hearing will be live-streamed online, but Zoom participation will not be available. Please contact PAFIA if you are interested in attending the hearing in-person for additional details as there are room capacity limitations. The link to watch the hearing online will be shared with PAFIA members closer to the hearing date. 

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Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)
461 Cochran Road, Box 246
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(717) 833-4561  info@pafia.org

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