SB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, was passed out of the Senate with a vote of 40 to 8 on February 14th. The bill proceeded to the House where it successfully passed out of the House Committee on Community & Economic Development & Housing with a vote of 8 to 1. The bill was then referred to the House Ways & Means Committee where it failed to have a hearing before the bill cutoff date of February 27th.
Our legislative team in Olympia worked hand-in-hand with elected officials to get SB 5539 included in the proposed Senate budget, which was released this morning. Because the bill is included in the proposed budget, it is now considered NTIB – or necessary to implement the budget. This means SB 5539 is no longer subject to the previous cutoff date.
The next hurdle is to get the bill to the floor of the House of Representatives for a full vote. There are many different avenues that the bill could take at this juncture. We are working with our supporters in Olympia to identify the most efficient and effective path.
In anticipation of a vote on the floor of the House, it is imperative that Representatives hear from their constituents. Please write and call today to express your desire to have the bill voted on before the end of session. We encourage you to use the toll-free Legislative Hotline in Olympia (1-800-562-6000) well as the IndieClub website (www.IndieClub.com/wasupport) to contact members of the House of Representatives.
IN THE NEWS – FILM INCENTIVES
Efforts to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program have received tons of press attention over the last few weeks. We’ve included links to some of the most recent coverage below. Head on over to our legislative blog for a more complete listing.
- Washington State Film Incentive Not Dead Yet – KUOW
- Will Washington bring back TV and movie incentives? – Fox 13
- Cash, jobs for Washington-made films on the verge of vanishing – KING 5 News
As Washington legislators debate the future of
our state’s film industry, Washington filmmakers are blazing trails nationally.
We wanted to share just a few of the recent accolades for our native and local
Seattle-native and Western Washington University
graduate TJ Martin made Academy Award history on Sunday night. Martin won an
Oscar for co-directing the documentary feature ‘Undefeated.’ Martin is the
first African-American to win an Oscar for directing a full-length film,
whether documentary or feature.
D.P. Ben Kasulke was nominated for a 2011
Independent Spirit Award in the Best Cinematography category for his work on
the locally produced feature film ‘The Off Hours’. Kasulke is raking in a lot
of praise this month, having recently been named one of 10
Cinematographers to Watch by Variety
Two Washington-produced films are set to
celebrate world premieres at SXSW in March. 2011 incentive productions ‘Eden’
and ‘Fat Kid Rules The World’ will screen at the festival. These films beat out
more than a thousand other submissions for their coveted slots at this year’s
Congratulations to all
You are invited to the February Film + Music +
Interactive Happy Hour tomorrow evening (2/29). FMI Happy Hour events are
held on the last Wednesday of every month from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Spitfire in
Seattle (Belltown). This month will feature speaker Matt Vancil, a local
filmmaker who has had major success in leveraging online crowd-funding
Find out more information on the FMI Happy Hour page.
The event is open to everyone 21 and over. Please help spread the word about
this fun and informative monthly mixer.
Washington Filmworks staff will be in
attendance to answer any questions about recent action in Olympia regarding
renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. We look forward to
seeing you out at Happy Hour!