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On Tuesday, May 25th, The Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA) hosted a legislative reception in Harrisburg to educate elected officials about the wide-reaching economic benefits of film production. Co-hosted by the four Film Caucus chairs: Senator Camera Bartolotta, Senator Jay Costa, Representative Joe Ciresi, and Representative Kathleen "KC" Tomlinson. The event was well attended with over 65 legislators and legislative staff who participated.
Both the House and the Senate have introduced identical legislation HB 1432 and SB 321, respectively, renaming the film production tax credit program as the “Film Industry Incentive”. Both bills included a recommendation to increase the level of state assistance for the program from its current $70 million amount to $125 million.
PAFIA Chair, David Haddad, along with PAFIA Board Members Ken Myers, Amy Sotereanos, Max Zug, and association members Mike McCann and Angelo Sotereanos attended to share their personal stories of how the Film Industry Incentive positively effects their livelihoods. David Haddad started PAFIA in 2009 as the first trade association in the United States that educates legislators on the economic benefits of the Film Industry. “This event,” Haddad states, “is 12 years in the making. To see over 65 legislators and legislative staff on both sides of the aisle come together to learn about the benefits of the film industry is a win for our industry.”
The PAFIA Board was thrilled to have the backing of the four Film Caucus Chairs who gave a speech to the legislators and staff in attendance. (watch the full speech here.)
Senator Bartolotta passionately began her speech by stating, “We are here to spread the word about all of the incredible economic benefits of the film industry in Pennsylvania. We have been turning away hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investment that is low hanging fruit, ready for the picking, just pounding on our doors to come into Pennsylvania.”
Senator Costa points out the bi-partisan nature of HB 1432 and SB 321 by indicating the room was full of “a lot of Democrats, Republicans, House Members, and Senate Members.”
House Representative Tomlinson thanked the audience and noted that the increase to the film industry incentive will competitively position Pennsylvania for film work with our neighboring states. Tomlinson declared, “this is money that should be in Pennsylvania’s pockets.”
House Representative Ciresi finishes the group speech by pumping up the crowd and saying “We have the opportunity to make Pennsylvania the East Coast of what California is, we have the opportunity to make sure that we become the place where people want to come to make a movie.” He continued, “If we are serious about creating great jobs and improving our economy after COVID, this is the moment.”
The $50 million dollar increase to the Film Industry Incentive the House and Senate are proposing would translate to bringing 15-20 more productions to Pennsylvania. This increase would also provide more jobs for thousands of Pennsylvania workers, and inject millions of dollars directly into our local economy. The increase would be a major win for the state. The Pennsylvania Film Industry Association is grateful to the Film Caucus Chairs for their efforts, as well as the PAFIA Board Members and members of the association who have dedicated time to educate the legislators at this event and beyond.
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 email@example.com