Tuesday, August 23, 2005

MISSOURI FILM OFFICE MOVES TO MIZZOU

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Film Commission today approved an agreement between the Department of Economic Development and the University of Missouri-Columbia to transfer the Missouri Film Office to the university.

The need to move the Film Office, currently overseen by the Department of Economic Development, resulted from recent efforts to reduce state spending. As a result, the department began to look for ways to maintain the integrity of Missouri's efforts to attract filmmakers and help keep film production a viable part of the state's economy. The Missouri Film Commission will remain under the administration of the department, but will continue to work closely with the Film Office to promote the film industry in Missouri.

``This agreement is a positive step that will provide the Missouri Film Office with more extensive university resources as it strives to carry out its statewide mission of attracting film production to Missouri, along with the great economic benefits our communities reap as a result,'' said Greg Steinhoff, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. ``We look forward to our new relationship with the university and hope to see Missouri's name up in lights in the near future.''

The agreement, formalized through a memorandum of understanding approved by the nine-member Film Commission, will save the state $50,000 because the state budget for the office was originally $200,000 for the fiscal year that began July 1. The agreement requires the state to pay the university $150,000 annually for up to three years to manage the Film Office. After the agreement expires, state reimbursements would end and the film office will become the university's responsibility.

The Department of Economic Development will continue to administer the Film Production Tax Credit, which can provide tax credits to film productions equaling up to 50 percent of the company's expenditures in Missouri necessary for making the film. The tax credit is capped at $1 million per project.

The film office will have two staff members and be located in McReynolds Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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